KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Treatment at Bir Hospital is set to become dearer as the hospital authorities are mulling revision of existing charges.
The hospital, which gets a huge grant from the government for providing services to the poor at reasonable cost, has decided to hike charges for paying beds, cabin beds, pathological and radiological services and other diagnostic care.
“The upcoming meeting of the executive board will take a formal decision on revision,” Dr Buland Thapa, director at Bir, said.
He said that the hospital has not revised its charges since the past 20 years.
According to the hospital administration, the normal charge for a paying bed will be Rs 200, up from Rs 110 currently.
Similarly, the hospital has decided to charge Rs 1,000 for a cabin bed, up from Rs 600 at present. “If people can afford cabin service it will not be amiss to hike other charges slightly,” Director Thapa argued.
He also said that that existing charges for radiology and pathology will be increased as the hospital is charging only nominally at present. “Reagents and other materials have become very expensive over the past 20 years and the hospital is running at a loss. So we have to revise the prices slightly,” he added.
The hospital, however, claimed that the poor should not be afraid of the fee hike for hospital beds as Bir provides 331 beds free of cost. He said patients can get free services and including food and medicines if they opt for free bed service. The hospital has 129 beds in paying.
Asked about the quality of service at the hospital not improving although the government is providing a huge grant for serving the poor, Dr Thapa said that the income will be invested for the betterment of the hospital and patients will eventually benefit from that.
The government provides more than Rs 400 million in grant to the hospital every year. “Despite multiple shortcomings which we have to overcome, we have been providing free care to the poor who cannot afford health services,” he added.
Bir Hospital is the national referral center where the poor from across the country go for treatment.