Govt to investigate private hospitals over-charging patients
THE government will seriously look at laws to address the extravagant fees charged by private hospitals.
Health Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham gave the undertaking when responding to questions from Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape who said he was charged K5,000 by a private hospital to treat a boil on a small boy.
Potape said doctors working in the public hospitals were also running their private practices. He accused the doctors of “moonlighting” when they forced patients to go to private hospitals because of a lack of medicine and equipment in public hospitals.
He asked whether there were government policies on health care in so far as regulating private health care and fees. He took a small boy for the treatment of a boil and was charged K5,000 which he refused to pay. He then took the boy to the public hospital where he paid less than K200 for the treatment.
“Where do private hospitals procure medicines and can we regulate fees?” Potape said.
Maxtone-Graham said the issue was long overdue and a serious concern to health care.
“The government does have a policy encouraging private health care and our concern is the standard of services being provided.”
He said the public health care system had been allowed to worsen in the past 36 years forcing the government to encourage private practices.