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Private hospitals to be monitored

11 February 2011 11:37 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Amendments would be introduced to the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) Act of 2008 to enable the health ministry to gain access to private hospitals and nursing homes, conduct inquiries on public complaints regarding high fees and other issues in channeling doctors, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a 12 member committee headed by  Karunasena Hettiaarachchi, Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to look into the issue and recommend necessary amendments to the Act.

The committee held its first meeting today at the Health Ministry chaired by Minister Sirisena, the spokesman added.

“The main weakness of the current Act is that the health ministry has no power to enter a private hospital and conduct an inquiry. It also does not have power to put a ceiling on the exorbitant prices charged through channel practices and by private hospitals/nursing homes,” the spokesman said.

“It is a known that some medical specialists charge patients extremely high fees. It varies from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000 a patient. They have come to this position through free education system of the country. The fees charged by private hospitals are unbelievable and the quality of treatment at many private hospitals is below par to the government healthcare service,” he said.

Citing one example, the spokesman said private hospitals and nursing homes obtain blood from the National Blood Transfusion Unit at Narahenpita (NBTUN) free of charge. The NBTUN charges Rs. 575 only for the kit that contains blood. The health ministry has received complaints from the public that some private hospitals have charged fees as high as Rs. 50,000 for a pint of blood obtained from the NBTUN which is highly unfair, the spokesman stressed.

The amendments are expected to give more legal teeth to the PHSCR Act enabling the Director General of Health Services or his deputy to entertain public complaints against private hospitals, nursing homes and private medical practioners/specialists by the public and take legal action against them, he said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 13

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  • tma Friday, 11 February 2011 11:50 AM

    Very good idea, but will they follow it through, or maybe just for a couple of months.

    Konde bendapu china Friday, 11 February 2011 11:55 AM

    They buy Blood from Govt Blood bank Rs.1500 and sell 50000 Rs.Must check from A 2 Z

    I Hussein Friday, 11 February 2011 12:00 PM

    This is brilliant Mr Minister.
    Please do monitor every channeling centres and clinics as well. Pvt hospitals are full of Hyenas.

    sanus Friday, 11 February 2011 12:29 PM

    A positive step in the right direction. Help the poor patients, they go there because the Govt Hospitals have a long queue
    for surgery etc.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Friday, 11 February 2011 12:39 PM

    A good one: these are blood relations of Dracula, the blood sucker.

    Yehiya-Doha Friday, 11 February 2011 01:05 PM

    First do the correct job in state hospitals. First bring the control of charges.

    Prof Wickramatillake Friday, 11 February 2011 01:15 PM

    I AM A SPECIALIZED DOCTOR MYSELF AND, THUS, HOPE YOU PUBLISH THIS. This action should have come years ago. At least, it has come at a later stage. Must thank the new Minister for taking such action. Private hospitals reap/rape innocent people for thousands of Rupees, especially the lower and the middle middle class.

    Kolitha Saturday, 12 February 2011 05:04 AM

    A very good Move..
    Some of the Private Hospital in the country is not up to the standards.

    JUNIOR CITIZEN Friday, 11 February 2011 02:44 PM

    THERE IS A GOLDEN PLACE IN RAJAGIRIYA--DOCTORS FEE 450/= HOSPITAL CHARGE 550/= FIX THEM MINISTER

    aun.silva87 Friday, 11 February 2011 02:44 PM

    I hope this rule applies to ALL private hospitals and would not exempt any "favoured" ones!!!

    punchi Saturday, 12 February 2011 08:46 AM

    GOOOOD move !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Because we pay exhorbitant fees for hopeless service. Some of these hospitals are equal to fishmarkets

    Hemantha Pandula Saturday, 12 February 2011 09:07 AM

    Good move. Suggest to obtain suggestions from general
    public.

    Ismail A Azeez Friday, 11 February 2011 05:01 PM

    Good move. The government hospitals should also be monitored in the same way for their performance, productivity and improved service to the poor.


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