Charging patients extra amount for nominal services is very common at the private hospitals in capital Dhaka.
Mamun Ur Rashid resides at the city’s Banashree. He took his son, who had high fever and cough, to a private hospital at midnight.
There was no assigned doctor in the emergency unit and Mamun looked for a physician but he failed to find any doctor at the hospital.Finally, he found a few nurses gossiping in a room.
Mamun shared his son’s illness with nurses and they advised Syrup Napa for his son.
But Mamun could not get the syrup at midnight. At the end of the conversation, Nurses assured Mamun that they would provide Napa syrup for his son.
The hospital authority charged Tk 1800 for this little service.
The same situation is prevailing at several private healthcare institutions across the country.
Public health experts of the country expressed their concerns over charging extra amount from patients.
Dr Rashid E Mahbub, president of Health Rights Movement, told daily sun private healthcare institutions have been set up with a motive to make money through business. They think them for-profit organisations and business is their main objective.
“Taking extra charge from patients is an offence. And private healthcare institutions are doing such offence. The private hospital authority took a huge amount from Mamun for his ailing son,” he added.
Emergency facilities should be available at private healthcare institutions and it is the pre-condition to operate a private hospital. An emergency unit must operate twenty-four hours with doctors and nurses so that any patient can receive any treatment from them at nominal cost, he explained.
Dr Mahbub called upon the government to strengthen their monitoring over the private healthcare institutions so that they cannot charge extra money for a little service from patients.
Dr Shahed Ahmed, noted public health expert, said the government should show zero tolerance to quality of healthcare in private hospitals so that people from different parts of the country can receive treatment from the private healthcare institutions at their selected rate.
“Around 50 percent of people of the country depend on the private healthcare institutions. So, discipline must be maintained at private healthcare centres,” he added.
Responding to this issue, Additional Director General of Directorate of Health Services Dr Ehthashemul Haque Chowdhury said charging extra amount from patents is an offence.
“If anyone gives us a written complaint then we will investigate the matter and take action against them,” he assured.