Private hospitals under scrutiny from Health Ministry

5 April 2016 08:55 am - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Surgeons at private hospitals are mandatory required to monitor the recovery of a patient after a surgery and stay with the patient a minimum of one hour according to a new circular issued by the Health Ministry.

In the wake of widespread medical negligence, mishaps and kidney transplant scams at private medical institutions, the Health Ministry has introduced far reaching amendments to the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) Act of 2008 including the introduction of fixed price formula for medical care, drugs, medical equipment and tests.

In a circular to directors of all private health care institutions on the instruction of Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Secretary General, Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala says that the Ministry would monitor from April 1st onward all health related activities of private hospitals and take punitive actions against those who violate the provisions of the Act.

Accordingly, medical services, surgeries, diagnosing and prescriptions, issuance of drugs and their quality and effectiveness, medical equipment and laboratory services, blood transfusion, the time a doctor spends to check a patient and any other function related to health care delivery will be closely monitored by the PHSRC.

The Health Ministry has also decided to be strict on doctors and health ministry employees who play truant and serve at private hospitals during their working hours to earn an extra buck illegally. Punitive actions would be taken against both parties. The private hospital for obtaining the services of a health employee during his or her duty hours and the employee for betraying duty.

“It is mandatory to issue a detailed receipt to the recipient of any service, drugs or medical equipment by the private hospital. A Flying Squad will conduct raids as necessary on private hospitals to ensure they do not charge exorbitant prices for their services,” Minister Senaratne said.

Under the new amendments introduced to the PHSRC a special medical report will be prepared and submitted to the court by the PHSRC if and when a family decides to take legal action in the event of medical negligence at a private hospital.

The PHSRC will be empowered to visit any private medical institution at any time of the day and conduct investigations on any issue or complain.

“It is a known fact that some medical specialists charge patients extremely high fees. It varies from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 5,000 a patient. Private hospitals sell drugs for normally five times of the price at Osu Sala. Surgeries are normally beyond the reach of middle class and cost millions of rupees. In short, private hospitals do not provide a service to the people because it is a business, he added. The amendments to the PHSRC Act will bring the prices charged for drugs, medical equipment, inward patient care, surgeries and medical tests to an affordable levels. The amendments are expected to give more legal teeth to the PHSCR enabling the Director General of Health Services or his deputy to entertain public complaints against private hospitals, nursing homes and private medical practitioners / specialists by the public and take legal action against them.

In Sri Lanka 50% of the population seeks state medical assistance and 10% seek private hospital treatment. There are about 250 private hospitals and nursing homes and about 1,000 private laboratories, channel services and ambulance services. The number of private medical practitioners spread in the country is about 10,000.

Quote: It is mandatory to issue a detailed receipt to the recipient of any service, drugs or medical equipment by the private hospital. A Flying Squad will conduct raids as necessary on private hospitals to ensure they do not charge exorbitant prices for their services. (Sandun A Jyasekera)

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  Comments - 11

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  • REALPATRIAT Wednesday, 06 April 2016 02:49 PM

    The most important thing that has not been included is the consultatio fee of the specialist & the hospital charges. It should be brought down to Rs.1000 as a nominal fee for all. via DM Android App

    ravi Tuesday, 05 April 2016 12:57 PM

    We salute Sir, for coming to the rescue of the patients . One important thing you have missed is punctuality of Private Consultants, after paying their exorbitant fees they come about 92 hours late. Strict time lines should be implemented, so the sufferings of patients would be minimized.

    MP Tuesday, 05 April 2016 01:03 PM

    Good move. this was long pending. Hope they will start issuing proper receipts for consultant fees which is over the counter cash deal practiced most often. (i think to avoid income tax)

    Titanic Tuesday, 05 April 2016 01:20 PM

    Very good job! These private hospital bills charge very high price for the services. Their bills have all hidden charges. Specially the surgeon are like butchers, even a patients to die being put in to ventilator for weeks and months to make their money. Minister your strict rule should be put in to this sector to punish these mafia. I am being one of the victim, so I know the pain. via DM Android App

    money..money...money Tuesday, 05 April 2016 01:22 PM

    Good lesson for the money making machines.

    AR Tuesday, 05 April 2016 01:57 PM

    God the prices are ridiculous in private hospitals and always on an increasing trend. I even claimed back Rs. 25,000 paid for a wrong test report at LHL. I am not sure why these are not regulated.

    usaguy Tuesday, 05 April 2016 02:09 PM

    Yes and how many of these doctors declare the proper income and pay taxes. Yes most private hospitals display notice that only cash for doctors charge. You get it... via DM Android App

    Fazlul Tuesday, 05 April 2016 02:32 PM

    Good move via DM Android App

    sobers Tuesday, 05 April 2016 02:36 PM

    Please practice what you preach. In Sri lanka too many systems, but it doesn't work, when the palms are oiled!

    Joker Tuesday, 05 April 2016 03:36 PM

    These are mere rhetoric and publicity stunts. The private hospitals and doctors may be laughing Away. via DM Android App

    Saman Tuesday, 05 April 2016 10:39 AM

    GREAT JOB MINISTER!!! I WAS CHARGED RS 786 FOR PRESCRIBED MEDICINE AT KANDY PRIVATE HOSPITAL( KPH) where I BOUGHT THE SAME MEDICINES FOR 236 OUTSIDE KPH OWNED PHARMARCY.


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