New proposal for doctor fee ceiling

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
New proposal for doctor fee ceiling

May 14, 2014-

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has proposed a ceiling of Rs 400 as consultation fee for doctors practicing in both private and public hospitals that charge as well as clinics.

Under the proposal, a MBBS doctor can charge a maximum of Rs 200 while the doctors with more than seven years of experience will be allowed to charge upto Rs 250. Similarly, MBBS doctors with a post-graduate diploma can charge Rs 250 while the same doctor after seven years of experience can charge an additional Rs 50. As for doctors with MD/MS, they can charge Rs 300 and the same doctor with seven years experience can charge Rs 350. Likewise, doctors with a speciality can charge at most Rs 350 and the same doctor with seven years experience can charge Rs 400.

The curative division of MoHP which regulates hospitals has forwarded details of the proposal to be endorsed by the ministry’s secretary and minster. According to the proposed plan, concerned doctors have to consult patients for free if they come for a follow-up within 10 days of the first visit.

Dr Guna Raj Lohani, chief of the curative division said this fee ceiling will, however, not be implemented in the general OPD of government hospitals. “We are trying to regulate the arbitrary fee structure taken by doctors,” said Dr Lohani.

Dr Upendra Devkota, former health minister during the regime of the then king Gyanendra Shah, had failed to implement the regulation of consulation fee. A decision of the government on December 10, 2002 had fixed the consultation fee to Rs 75 for MBBS and a maximum of Rs 275 for senior consultants who have at least 10 years of experience.  

Nepal Medical Association (NMA), an umbrella organisation of doctors said it would not be possible for the government to implement uniform rates across the country. President of NMA Dr Anjani Kumar Jha suggested the government to consider the present inflation rate and adjust the consultation fee accordingly. “The fixation of the rate is done arbitrarily. The government also does not know how many doctors are working in the country.”

The rate, if implemented, is likely to increase the price charged by consultants in paying clinics of government hospitals. As per present rates, Bir Hospital and Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital respectively charge Rs 150 and Rs 250 in their paying clinics.

 

Published: 15-05-2014 09:47

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