KATHMANDU, Feb 10: After four years of formulation of the directives to regulate fees at private health facilities, the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Friday formed a task force for fixing the treatment fees ceiling at private hospitals.
There are 159 private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics across the country. However, most of them are concentrated in the city areas.
Though the main panel headed by an MoH secretary had been formed after the formulation of the directive, the main panel had never held its meeting until Friday, according to the MoH officials. "We held a meeting today and decided to form a task force to study the private hospitals, the treatment fees they charge to patients and their infrastructure and the services they provide," said Dr Shree Krishna Giri, MoH spokesperson.
The meeting chaired by MoH secretary Dr Pushpa Chaudhary formed a nine-member task force with Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, chief of Medical Service Division at the MoH, as coordinator. The task force includes nursing administrator Laxmi Tuitui, undersecretary Shamba Raj Regmi, Arjun Sapkota of Department of Public Health Services, and representatives from private hospitals, Ministry of Supplies, private medical and dental colleges and consumer rights groups.
"The task force will submit its report which will include a fee-ceiling proposal to the main committee headed by health secretary within 35 days," said Dr Giri.
There are more than 4,000 government health facilities including primary health centers, health posts and district and big hospitals with about 35,000 health workers including 1,500 medical doctors across the country, according to MoH.