The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administration has again accelerated its efforts to implement new medical service charges in hospitals being run by KMC across the city to generate more revenue.
PPI has learnt that the medical superintendents of healthcare centers being run by KMC had refused to implement the new medical charges in their respective hospitals due to fear of public reaction. However, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and various other medical organisations have also opposed the proposal of increasing medical service charges at KMC hospitals.
However, the KMC administration once again has accelerated its efforts to implement the new medical charges in order to enhance revenue generation to overcome financial crises and improve healthcare delivery system in their hospitals.
A medical superintendent of a KMC-run hospital on condition of anonymity said that the administration has started different tactics to increase medical charges in the hospitals by pressuring heads of hospitals; however, majority of the heads of KMC run hospitals and medical superintendents have categorically refused to implement new medical charges.
He said KMC officials wanted to increase and implement new medical charges as soon as possible to come out of the current financial crises. He said the KMC had proposed increase of OPD fees from Rs 5 to Rs 25, meals charges Rs 5 to Rs 25(per patient), fees for surgery, laboratory tests, private rooms and other fees in their hospitals including Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases Hospital, Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, Spencer Eye Hospital, Rafiqui Shaheed Hospital, Homeopathic Hospital Nazimabad, Solider Bazaar Maternity Home and others healthcare centers. He said the KMC had already issued the notification about the increase of fees in healthcare centers.
However, majority of the KMC-run healthcare centers heads and medical superintendents say that the increase in medical charges would affect low-income people who visit the KMC-run hospitals on daily basis. They said healthcare centers being run under the KMC had already been facing acute shortage of medicines for last several years due to non-release of funds. They believed increases in fees would badly affect low-income citizens.
Senior Director for Health & Medical Services, KMC, Dr Salma Kausar while talking to PPI said the KMC had increased medical charges to increase hospitals’ revenue so that they would able to run their affairs smoothly. She said the notification of increase in medical charges had been issued from government side and heads of KMC run hospitals must comply with these instructions.
She said the KMC administration could not be pressurised. She said they were compelled to take this decision because medical charges had not been increased in its healthcares since 1999. She said prices of various medical equipments, meals, medicines and surgical items have increased manifold in last 15 years.