Docs’ fee ceiling comes into effect

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Sep 16, 2014-

The government is all set to implement the doctors’ fee ceiling from Wednesday. The Ministry of Health and Population has set a ceiling of Rs 475 as fee for consultant doctors practising in both private and public hospitals and clinics.

The implementation of the decision is challenging as similar efforts to create uniformity in the doctor fees undertaken in the past have failed. On December 10, 2002, when Dr Upendra Devkota was the Health minister, the government had fixed the consultation fee to Rs 75 for MBBS doctors and a maximum of Rs 275 for senior consultants who have at least 10 years of experience. However, the government had failed to implement the decision.

Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, president of Nepal Medical Association said they will extend their support to the government’s decision. Dr Jha urged the government to bring as many doctors as possible on board to create uniformity in the doctor fees, saying that a major chunk of the health professionals practicing in the country are outside the “government pool” as they work in the private sector hospitals where it is important to implement the decision earnestly.   

A ministerial level decision taken on August 27 had directed all the health centers and doctors across the country to create a uniform rate for doctors. As per the decision, an MBBS doctor can charge a maximum of Rs 250 consultation fee while the doctors with more than five years of experience will be allowed to charge up to Rs 300.

Similarly, MBBS doctors with a post-graduate diploma can charge Rs 350 while the same doctor after five years of experience can charge an additional Rs 50. As for doctors with MD/MS, the fee has been set at Rs 450, and such doctors with experience of five years can charge up to Rs 475. According to the decision, concerned doctors have to consult patients for free if they come for a follow-up within seven days of the first visit. The fee ceilings set by the government is exclusive of Value Added Tax and other service charges. With all tax included, the highest price ceiling for consultation goes up to Rs 495.

Published: 17-09-2014 09:12

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