Health dept to revise user charges in hospitals.

PESHAWAR -- The health department has decided to revise user charges in public and private hospitals and fix consultation fee of doctors in line with their seniority and specialty, according to officials.

'The government fixed user charges for public hospitals in 1986, which had not been revised since then. During this period, the costs of different services have been increased in private sector but the public sector hospitals have no modus operandi to enhance rates of X-rays, pathological tests and other procedures,' they said.

Officials said that fee of chest X-rays was Rs35 more than 30 years ago but it was not possible to charge the same amount from patients as the cost of films and reagents increased manifold.

'The department has completed a draft, which is being reviewed before sending it to the establishment department and then cabinet for final approval,' they said. They added that in the past several attempts were made from time to time to fix new rates in line with the market prices but it was not easy during political governments due to fear of public reaction.

'With the dissolution of the assembly and end of the government, there is a hope that new rates would be approved because the non-political setup in the province would have no objection to it. In fact, different hospitals have increased user charges unilaterally, but there is a need to provide legal cover to the increase in rates,' said officials.

They said that health department was also in contact with other relevant departments to determine if it was its domain to revise rates. They said that it was important to notify new rates because different government hospitals were charging the patients differently for same tests and procedures.

'We have fixed charges for Covid-19 tests when the pandemic...

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