Karachi: It has been reliably learnt that Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) administration is once again pursuing to implement new medical services charges in hospitals run under KMC to generate more revenue which will eventually put additional burden on citizens.
It is pertinent to mention that medical superintendents of healthcare centers under KMC had refused to implement new medical charges previously and a stiff resistance is again expected. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and various other organizations have already opposed this increase.
The proposed increase in OPD fees is from Rs 5 to Rs 25, meals charges Rs 5 to Rs 25(per patient), surgery, laboratory test, private rooms and other fees of major healthcare centers including Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases Hospital, Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, Spencer Eye Hospital, Rafiqui Shaheed Hospital, Homeopathic Hospital Nazimabad, Solider Bazaar Maternity Home and others run under KMC. It is learnt that KMC had already issued the notification in this regard.
In a survey conducted by Medical News majority of the heads of KMC healthcare centers and medical superintendents felt that the said increase would adversely affect majority of low-income people who visit the KMC-run hospitals on daily basis. They said healthcare centers being run under KMC has already facing acute shortage of medicines from last several years due to non-releases of funds.
It is pertinent to mention that medical charges in these healthcare centers have not been increased since 1999 and the prices in these 15 years for medical equipment, meals, medicines and other surgical items have skyrocketed. It is time that Government may need to introduce a subsidy based on income groups or else patients will suffer.