‘Report On Regulation Of Rates In Private Hospitals Awaits Govt Nod’

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SRINAGAR — Despite passing around eight months since a com­mittee submitted its recommenda­tions report for regulation of rates in private hospitals; it still awaits implementation due to opposition by proprietors of private hospitals.

The failure of the government to regulate rates is taking a toll on patients, who are being charged as per the will of hospitals.

The committee headed by Di­rector Health Services Kashmir submitted its report in September last year for regulation of rates. However, the government has so far failed to its execution due to opposition by private hospitals.

An official of the Health De­partment said that private hospi­tals rates are being monitored ev­erywhere in the world. “But there is no check on private hospitals in the Valley,” the official said.

In absence of regulations, there have been complaints coming frequently from pa­tients about being fleeced by private hospitals, he said.

There are 42 private hospitals and nursing homes registered with the DHSK.

“There are also variations in tests in privately run medical labs,” the official told KNS.

The official said that private hospitals have raised objections over implementation of the re­port for regulation of rates. “Let’s hope that government will imple­ment it so that there is uniformi­ty in rates,” the official said.

In 2012, Health Department had issued an order making mandatory for nursing homes to display costs against services provided by them for the pur­pose of transparency.

A government of India’s survey released in 2016 has revealed that childbirth at a private hospital in J&K would cost more than it would cost in most states of India. The survey has said that for a single childbirth at a private hospital in Kashmir’s rural private nursing home is Rs. 23,750 on an average, higher than national average.

Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, whose brother underwent sur­gery for removal of gall blad­der last month, said, “We were charged Rs 50,000 by a private hospital in Srinagar. One of our relatives for the same surgery was charged only Rs 35,000.”

It has also been seen that pa­tient load in government hospi­tals force people to turn to pri­vate hospitals for treatment.

Bhat, who is resident of Bemi­na, said there is huge variation in rates. “The proprietors of hos­pitals charge as per their will for surgeries and tests. The govern­ment should fix reasonable rates so that patients are not charged with hefty sums for surgeries and consultations,” he added.

A senior official of Health De­partment told KNS that they did a thorough exercise for regula­tion of rates before submitting the report to the government.

“We talked to lot of private practioners and doctors. We rec­ommended that there shall be rea­sonable rates,” the official said.

Presently, he said they can’t raid any hospital for charging exorbitant to patients. “Once the rates are fixed, we too can take action,” he added. (KNS)

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