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August 19, 2019

New rates of services, tests at healthcare facilities notified

Islamabad

August 19, 2019

Rawalpindi : The public sector healthcare facilities working under administrative control of Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department in Punjab are going to implement new rates for various services and diagnostic tests by increasing the existing charges tremendously that may put extraordinary burden on poor patients particularly those belonging to low and lower middle class of the society.

The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Government of Punjab issued a notification in this regard on August 17 reading ‘Consequent upon the approval of provincial cabinet, the government of Punjab in terms of Rule 28 (15) and 30 of the Punjab government Rules of Business 2011, in supersession of all the previous orders, the rates for various services and tests performed in health facilities working under administrative control of Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department are hereby notified’.

The increase in the existing charges that is 200 per cent to 600 per cent for a number of services and tests would be implemented in all tehsil headquarters hospitals and rural health centres across the Punjab province along with all district headquarters hospitals except for those which are teaching hospitals like DHQ hospitals in Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad.

The patients at DHQ hospitals, THQ hospitals and RHCs would be charged Rs50 for dental outpatient department ticket, Rs60 for X-Rays, Rs100 for ECG, Rs150 for ultrasound and Rs2500 for CT Scan while according to notification, the visitors to these healthcare facilities would have to pay Rs20 and Rs10 as parking fee for car and bike respectively.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) Test would cost Rs200 to a patient at the healthcare facilities working under Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department while blood sugar, urea, creatinine, uric acid and urinary pregnancy test each would be tested against Rs65. For ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and urine routine examination, a patient would have to pay Rs60 while liver function tests (LFTs) would cost a patient Rs300.

According to new rates, screening for hepatitis B and C would cost Rs75 while through ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), the tests would cost Rs300 and Rs400 respectively. The patient would be charged Rs400 for coagulation profile.

The healthcare facilities would charge Rs50 for HIVscreening and Rs125 for Widal test/TyphiDot screening. Rs600 would be charged for Troponin T test, mostly required for cardiac patients while Lipid profile would be done against Rs250 while thyroid profile would cost a patient Rs900.

Helicobacter Pylori test would be available to patient for Rs600 while arterial-blood gases (ABG) test that measures the amounts of arterial gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide would be done for Rs700 and cardiac enzymes would be tested against Rs300.

There are only two tests, screening for Tuberculosis and dengue fever, which would be free of cost for all patients. The notification states that diagnostic tests for emergency patients would be free of cost while ‘the poor patients who give an undertaking as entitled to Zakat Fund will be treated free of cost’.

“70 per cent of diagnostic test fee shall be retained by the government of Punjab,” states the notification.

It is worth mentioning here that the new rates would be implemented in all THQ and DHQ hospitals and RHCs in Rawalpindi division except for DHQ Hospital Rawalpindi that is a teaching hospital.

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