Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

Bring private hospitals under rules and regulations

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Health and Family Welfare Minister has said that government is planning to fix the charges of services provided by private hospitals and clinics. "It's a complex process but once implemented, it'll help ensure that the service seekers aren't cheated," he told a media conference yesterday. The minister also said the fees are already fixed at public hospitals and the private hospitals have been asked to submit a list of service fees. The government will then grade the quality of services and finalise the chart.
In our country, the diseases have a direct link to financial hardship of households, especially when out of pocket health expenditure is high. As per Bangladesh National Health Accounts 1997-2015, out of pocket health expenditure in the country is 67 percent of the total medical costs. WHO said this percentage is the highest in South and Southeast Asian region, followed by India with 62 percent, while the global average is 32 percent.
What's most significant is that, private hospital and clinics charge too much money from the patients which are often unbearable for the common people. Most of the private clinics provide their medical service under the selling concept. It's an open secret that, their target is just to earn profit by somehow operating a hospital or clinic. They usually set their clinics either near government hospitals or close to the main road to promote their businesses.  With the help of brokers and business-minded physicians they get patients even without ensuring quality services.
The reputed hospitals like, Apollo Hospital, United Hospital, Square Hospital, Lab Aid   though offer several healthcare services in package, the rich and upper-middleclass people only could reach them. In fact, getting proper treatment from a quality private hospital or clinic is a far cry for ordinary people till the date.
It's difficult to fix the rates but we do appreciate the government's move as fixing a reasonable rate will pave the way to get medical service by common people from quality private hospitals.  So, private hospitals and clinics must be brought under rules and regulations.  

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