Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Prices of hospital bills increases in Nigerian hospitals

Due to the ongoing recession in the country,Nigerians nowadays pay more for health care services in both private and public health facilities according to reports.

Many hospital owners, doctors, pharmacists and patients, who spoke to Punch correspondent on Tuesday linked the development to the recession currently hitting the country.

For instance, they noted that the fees for major surgeries as well as prices of drugs in many hospitals, especially the privately-owned ones, had increased significantly.

The Medical Director, Light Heart Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Segun Adeniran, who confirmed the increment, said the cost of the medical consumables had gone up.

Besides, the overhead cost of running the health facility, Adeniran noted, had doubled with the inflation and recent hike in fuel prices.

The physician added, “We used to charge N100,000 for emergency Caesarean Section but it is now N150,000. I was shocked when I travelled to Lagos the other day to buy some consumables for the hospital and I found out that their prices had changed. In fact, I could only buy half of what I needed. It was that bad.

 “Even the doctor that assists me with the surgery has asked for an increment. The price of the anaesthesia for patients during surgeries has shot up.  It is either I increase the price or I shut down my facility.”

  Another unidentified doctor who spoke at the  General Hospital, Lagos, said that although there was no official increment  in charges at the centre,  the prices of many procedures had increased by,  at least, 15 per cent .

 He noted that the fees at the hospital and other health facilities in the state would have been higher but for the “Internally Generated Revenue initiatives that they had inaugurated.

  A pharmacist affirmed that his colleagues had suffered the effect of the ongoing economic recession more.According to him, the cost of drugs may force many of them out of the business. 

He stated, “The prices of drugs are rising. Many are even scarce because the importers can’t get enough foreign exchange to bring  them in regularly anymore. We do not manufacture many of the medicines we sell in this country.

“Patients are complaining bitterly and we can’t help them. Some can’t even pay, as they beg you to take N200 for N500 for antimalarials. Pharmacists are really affected because while a doctor can deliver a woman of a baby with just his/her skill, a pharmacist cannot just dispense his drugs.”


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