​Public hospitals should not charge fees

​No public hospital in the country should be charging fees for the provision of primary health care services.

All should be following the intent of the Government’s free healthcare policy.

This was made clear by the Secretary of the Health Department, Pascoe Kase.

In a statement, Kase says while the policy does allow for charging a reduced rate for specialist services, these should be the exception rather than the rule in public hospitals.

He made this statement in response to an article published in one of the local dailies which quoted an anonymous source claiming that Modilon General Hospital in Madang was charging for the provision of health care.

Kase advised that he had spoken with the chief executive officer of the hospital, who had assured him that that was not the case.

“No fees were being charged other than those approved under the policy.”

He adds that this was clearly a false claim and he was advised that the hospital has just received its monthly operating fund, which has been paid into the account this Monday.

“There was no immediate financial crisis for the hospital,” Kase stated.

The Madang Area Medical Store had received its supply of medicines and the Modilon Hospital is able to draw the supplies it needs from this facility.

“Under the free healthcare policy in the country, no public hospital should charge fees for primary health care services or medicines provided.

“Even though facilities had to be careful with the monies they had, there was no legal basis for fees to be charged,” Kase adds.

(File pic)

Annette Kora