MoH nod must for govt docs before pvt practice

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 29, 2017-

The government doctors should mandatorily take approval from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to practice at any private clinics or hospitals by second week of March.

As only few doctors have taken approval for private practice while many others are practicing on their own, a decision has been taken to scrap all the approval issued so far and begin a new process, the ministry said.

“No doctors will be allowed to work in private health facilities from 9am to 3pm,” said Health Minister Gagan Kumar Thapa. “If they want to work before or after the duty hours they should compulsorily take approval from the ministry. And this provision is clearly stated in the Health Services Regulation.”

Besides, the private health facilities should also take ministry’s approval before employing any government doctors. 

These private facilities should also maintain an information board detailing the employment approval from the ministry for all doctors practicing there.

Minister Thapa warned of stern action against those private facilities that do not abide by the ministry directives, including scrapping of their operating licence.

The ministry’s latest move comes amidst numerous complaints from patients that doctors had not been available in government hospital even during the duty hours. The situation is even worse outside Kathmandu Valley where doctors are found to be spending much of their time at private clinics they have established nearby government hospitals. 

The ministry has clarified that it is impossible to impart health services as a fundamental right as enshrined in the Constitution of Nepal without maintaining a high degree of discipline in health facilities and punctuality of doctors.

In its bid to discourage government doctors from engaging in private practice, the ministry has come up with special incentives and overtime benefits. Under this, each hospital  running an inpatient department (or that admits patients) should compulsorily run routine OPD services from 9am to 3pm. After this, the doctors should either run Extended Health Services, which is a private practice run inside the hospital, or claim 50 percent overtime benefit for providing services up to 5pm.

“A doctor has to work from 9am to 3pm for six days, totalling 36 hours a week. This working hours applies for all,” said Minister Thapa. “For additional services, we will pay them accordingly.”

Published: 29-01-2017 08:07

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