Government forms panel to review hospital feesThe government has formed a panel to review the costs of health care in hospitals across the country.
The government has formed a panel to review the costs of health care in hospitals across the country.
The Service Fee Assessment Committee will analyse the costs of health services and propose a price ceiling based on the nature of services that are catered to patients, said Dr Pushpa Chaudhary, secretary of Health Ministry.
The nine-member committee is led by Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, chief of the Curative Services Division at the ministry, and has members including the officials from the Department of Health Services, the ministry’s nursing and legal departments and the organisations of medical schools and hospitals. It has 35 days to complete its work and submit its report to the ministry.
Dr Shrestha said the committee’s objectives include analysing the existing costs
of health care services, classifying the types of services and setting the criteria for fixing prices.
“This will at least help us implement the cost based on the classification of health care services so that the patients are not overcharged by health facilities,” he said.
The decision to form the committee comes after the Department of Supply Management carried out hospital raids and recommended action against several hospitals inside Kathmandu Valley for allegedly amassing an estimated Rs 2.5 billion last fiscal year by overcharging their patients. According to the department hospitals, including Nepal Institute of Neurology and Allied Sciences in Bansbari, Grande International Hospital in Tokha, Ishan Children’s Nursing and Maternity Home in Basundhara, Vayodha Hospital in Balkhu, Norvic International Hospital and College in Tripureshwor and B&B Hospital in Lalitpur were charging their patients on various pretexts such as bed service and nursing service.
Hospital fee assessment committee was first envisioned by the “Guidelines on Standards of Health Facility Establishment, Operation and Upgradation, 2014”. The guideline deals with registration and the minimum standards that a health facility should have based on the total number of beds.