Private hospital charges to be regulated; army assistance to tackle dengue

Private hospital charges to be regulated; army assistance to tackle dengue

June 17, 2017   06:38 pm

Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that all private hospital charges including in-house treatments and lab tests will be regulated in the near future. 

Addressing a press briefing in Colombo today (17), he said that the Director General of Health Services has been instructed to take necessary action with regard to that according to the powers vested under the Private Medical Institutions Regulation Act. 

He stated that a full blood count (FBC) currently costs around Rs 800-900 and that this can be brought down to around Rs 250 while Rs 1,000 can be made the maximum fee for an NS1 antigen test, a test for dengue, which has sometimes cost around Rs 4,000. 

Accordingly discussion will be held with relevant representatives of private hospitals today and necessary action will be initiated by Monday (26), the minister said. 

He also said that the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army will be sought to carry out garbage removal, considering the spread of dengue fever as an urgent situation. 

Senaratne said that Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) face various obstacles from property owners and officials when inspecting mosquitoes breeding areas and thus the assistance of uniformed army personnel will be utilized in order to minimize this. 

He also said that there is no shortage of medicine required for dengue patients and that they are being imported from Thailand based on diplomatic relations and not through the market. 

Meanwhile a specialist doctor, who also addressed the media briefing, urged the public to refrain from giving painkillers to dengue patients. 

Responding to a question from a journalist, he said that apart from types of Paracetamol, dengue patients should not be given painkillers as it could put their lives at risk. He said that there have been reports of certain doctors prescribing painkillers for such patients. 

However, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that inquiries will be held regarding such doctors and disciplinary action would be initiated against them. 

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