Financial crisis of hospitals

Gradual squeeze of budgetary allocations to teaching hospitals under the provisions of MTI Act has created acute financial crisis in these institutions. The provisions of the Act empower the hospitals’ administration to raise its own resources and become self financing enteritis. Health department will be responsible for carrying out the development projects only in hospitals. But still the government is telling the people through print media that privitisation of health sector is not on its agenda.

Stoppage of funds to government hospitals will make the indoor treatment facility very expensive for people of middle and poor classes. The cost of indoor treatment has already gone up and it will rise further if government hospitals raise their own financial resources to meet expenditures. The bad experience of the public sector universities in the shape of sky-high tuition fee and lack of lab equipments is a living example.

To augment the financial resources of hospitals, the provincial government earlier made the institution based practice optional for which young and newly passed out specialist doctors opted but majority of senior specialist doctors preferred practice outside hospitals in their private clinics. Some senior doctors have already been relegated to junior positions because they refused to opt for institution based practice. It was one of the reasons of recent doctor’s strike. In General Musharraf military led government bulk of the senior specialist doctors had resigned from government service when institution based practice had been made mandatory. In MMA provincial government this system of doctors’ practice in the second shift was wounded up. However, it remained enforced on paper not in practice in the hospitals of former FATA.

Another source of revenue generation for government hospitals is payments from Insurance Company for treatment of patients holding Insaf Health Card. In the previous PTI government bulk of the revenue on this account went to private hospitals. The government has provided these cards to 3.2 million families but the agreement with designated insurance company is yet to be made. Privitisation of health sector and ill-conceived experiments in it will bring miseries for the people.