Thursday, 2 December 2010

Distribution of 'user fees' among employees in govt hospitals stayed

BLHouse Report

The High Court yesterday (December 2) stayed a decision of the government of distributing 50 percent 'user fees', taken from patients in the government hospitals, among the hospitals' nurses, doctors and employees.

A bench of the High Court comprising Justice A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain stayed the government decision for three weeks following a public interest litigation.

The court directed the government to form a committee consisting of representatives of health and finance ministries and expert doctors within 15 days.

The committee will have to prepare a guideline and make a list of medical equipments needed in the hospitals for ensuring better treatment, and to submit the guideline and list before the court within four weeks after formation of the committee, the HC ruled.

The court issued a three-week ruled upon the government to explain why a direction should not be given to ensure better treatment for the patients, and not to further increase 'user fees' in future.

The respondents in the rule are: Secretaries to the Health Ministry, Finance Ministry, Director General of Heath Department, Assistant Secretary to (Hospital) to Health Ministry.

On March 2, 2009, the Health Ministry issued a circular imposing 'user fees', on September 10, 2009, increased the 'user fees' and on July 22 this year decided to distribute the 50 percent user fee among the nurses, doctors and employees of government hospitals.

Challenging the government decision, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed the petition with the HC recently.

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