PESHAWAR, Jan 27: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department is introducing a new formula for distribution of fee, deposited by patients at the government hospitals, among the employees of the health facilities.

The new plan will benefit all the employees instead of a few, who are paid from the users’ charges, according to sources. “At present only five per cent employees of the government hospitals get share in the fee collected from patients for conducting different tests and other diagnostic and medical procedures. This practice has been affecting patients care adversely,” said officials.

According to them, some doctors, technicians and nurses are given share in the users’ charges that causes heartburn among their colleagues, who don’t get the amount.

Officials said that paramedics, nurses and doctors working in the operation theatre were given share in the users’ charges while their colleagues working in wards and emergency didn’t get any such financial benefit.

“Similarly, the patients visiting outpatients department (OPD) pay for investigations like urine tests, X-ray and ECG etc to the departments concerned. At the end of every month the employees performing such procedures, receive share in the money,” they said.

Under the new plan, to be implemented in a month, all the employees will get share in the users’ charges regardless of their places of duties in the hospitals.

According to the new formula, 45 per cent money will be deducted for costs of maintenance of machines and equipment and charges of electricity from the total amount, paid by patients as fee, every month.

Out of the rest of 55 per cent, government will receive 60 per cent, doctors 15 per cent and paramedics 10 per cent while three per cent will be kept for maintenance and two per cent will be administrative share.

Under the revised distribution plan, the government has slashed doctors’ share from 25 to 15 per cent on the order of Peshawar High Court and a notification in this regard has been issued by the health department.

The 10 per cent share deducted from the doctors has been included in the government’s share subject to authorisation by the court. Officials said that government wanted to distribute the amount among all the employees on equitable basis to do away with the preferential treatment received by the patients.

They said that patients admitted to the hospitals’ private rooms were received well by staff as compared to those admitted to general wards.

The doctors, nurses, technicians and dispensers didn’t get any monetary benefits from the patients admitted to general wards so they didn’t take desirable interest in their treatment, officials added.

“A laboratory technician, who works in the OPD, receives share in the charges paid by the patients for investigations while his colleagues working in wards perform free of cost tests for in-door patients,” they said.

Along with equitable distribution of share among all the employees of every hospital, the government has also decided to introduce uniform fee structure for all routine investigations. Presently patients pay different charges for the same tests at the government hospitals.  —Ashfaq Yusufzai

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