KENYA:Doctors cut fees by 20% but public demands more

January 2018 thestar;The exorbitant Sh60,000 doctors charge to circumcise children will have to come down, their board has proposed.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board yesterday suggested, after a public outcry and a stormy meeting, that fees charged in private hospitals be cut by 20 per cent.

The meeting was convened to review the 2016 professional fees guidelines for medical and dental practitioners after MPs and Health CS Sicily Kariuki complained they were too costly.

Board chairman George Magoha said all the proposals made yesterday will be submitted to the Health CS on Friday this week.

“An ad hoc committee formed by the board had suggested 20 per cent reduction on the minimum and maximum charges, but the full board decided to only slash the maximum fees,” Magoha said.

Yesterday, the public, insurers, and NGOs representing consumers complained the 2016 fees were unreasonable and would hinder the country from achieving the universal health coverage.

The guidelines set the minimum and maximum fees that doctors in private practise can charge for medical procedures.

They were gazetted by former Health CS Cleopa Mailu in 2016.

“For a single court appearance, a doctor is allowed to charge a maximum Sh120,000. That’s unacceptable,” said Kiama William from the Association of Kenya Insurers. At the same time the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has also called for itemised billing in all hospitals as more patients report billing complaints.

The lobby’s secretary general Stephen Mutoro yesterday told the Star that health complaints now accounts for 20 per cent of total cases reported with billing related incidents accounting for 90 percent.

‘’We can’t talk of universal health coverage when doctors are exploiting patients,’’ Mutoro said.

The federation is now pushing for a law that will compel hospitals to itemise billing.


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