Jammu, Nov 9: Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to hike medical service charges up to 150 per cent at the State-run hospitals and around 1600 health centers.
According to sources, the Health department is working on the new fee structure and the proposal would be presented before the monthly review meeting to be chaired by Health Minister Shabir Ahmed Khan here next week.
They claimed that for last some years hospitals and health centers across the State have recorded sharp increase in the cases of surgery and general treatments but the revenue realization has remained on the lower side as compared to the hospitals under Medical Education Department.
"The department is charging almost nothing from the indoor patients in various hospitals across the State. Now we are contemplating to hike the service charges in all health establishments, including District Hospitals, Sub-District Hospitals, Community Health Centers and Medical Centers,"
a senior official in the Health department told Greater Kashmir.
The Medical Education Department implemented the new fee structure in all the hospitals including Government Medical Colleges and associated hospitals from January 2012.
The Health department has proposed review of fee structure for patient registration, admission to hospital, medico-legal examination, diagnostic facilities and surgeries.
"The Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) registration fee, which is Rs 2 for last so many years, will be hiked to Rs 5 and admission charges will be up from Rs 5 to Rs 10. Similar changes would be made for other services available at the government-run hospitals", sources added.
They furthered said that department has also proposed free treatment for people Below Poverty Line (BPL) and other underprivileged sections of the society with documentary proof. The treatment will also be free for all emergencies arising out of road accidents and man-made and natural disasters, they said adding that diagnostic and treatment facilities for pregnant women and neonatal children will also be free of cost.
When contacted, Director Health Jammu, Dr. B S Pathania admitted that the department is in a process to review the fee structure. "We will soon take a decision in this regard after getting consent from the minister", he said adding, "The revision is overdue as the department witnessed increase of patient inflow in the hospitals for past several years."