Govt wakes up to arbitrary charges for medical investigations
Srinagar: While failing to revise the rate structure for various investigations carried out at government hospitals in the state for years, the government has finally taken the pains of issuing a circular ensuring uniformity of charges until the revision is done by the Health and Medical Education Department.
In order to bring about uniformity in the charges for carrying out various investigations at the government health institutions situated in Srinagar and peripheries, till the revision of rate structure is accomplished, the government has issued an order which has sought compliance with regard to the rate structure being followed at Srinagar’s SHMS hospital.
Earlier, due to the government’s failure in revising the rate structure, which as per the officials should have been done quarterly, there have been several reports regarding government hospitals charging patients with different rates.
However, the Director Finance, Department of Health and Medical Education Muhammad Rafiq told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that a rate structure was already in place, but it ‘was not revised’ due to ‘unknown reasons’.
“It is not like a structure was not in place, it was, however, the same was not revised due to unknown reasons, as it should have been,” he said.
“We have been receiving complaints regarding the disparity in charges and in order to tackle the same, we issued a circular on Thursday,” he added.
“It has come to notice that the health institutions from Jammu and Kashmir State are charging different rates for carrying out the necessary investigations at these facilities,” the circular issued reads.
“Accordingly, it is enjoined upon all the Medical Superintendents/ Chief Medical Officers, Block Medical Officers to follow strictly the rate structure being followed in SMHS hospital, Srinagar till further orders,” the circular directs.
President Doctors’ Association of Kashmir (DAK), Dr Suhail Naik commenting on the issue said that they had earlier taken up the issue with several officials in the Health and Medical Education Department.
The government is also planning to revise the rate structure within a week or so, which has not been revised for years now and until that’s done, the government, in order to bring about uniformity has directed all the government hospitals to follow the rate list as that of SMHS hospital.
“Due to the failure of revision, there was no track of who is charging what, now that we have issued a circular to bring to the uniformity, the department will be issuing a revised rate structure within week or so,” the Director Finance said.