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Private healthcare cost goes sky-high

4Downtrodden and poor people are widely being excluded from receiving essential healthcare service from private infirmaries in Sylhet due to an inordinate amount of money charges as medical costs.
Critics of private healthcare say middle-class people also avoid going to private hospitals and clinics as they overcharge patients.
Medical cost of a particular disease varies from one private hospital to another. The expenses include diagnoses and wide-ranging service charges in view of their brand image and locations.
A recent data shows that the ICU (intensive care unit) charges at the country’s top hospitals range between Tk 12,000 and Tk 30,000 per day. For ultrasonogram, the charges range between Tk 1,500 and Tk 2,500, while charges for an RBC test (a type of blood test) go up to Tk 300.
Private hospitals and clinics charge exorbitant fees for their services. Allegations are rife that many hospitals have engaged corrupt employees of public hospitals only to divert patients to them for money.” Commercial attitude of a section of physicians and owners of private hospitals and clinics has made this life-saving sector a business hub, said Dr Shamimur Rahman, also former president of Bangladesh Medical Association.
A senior physician of Osmani Medical Collage said private healthcare services have become popular in the upper reaches of society, making the private sector almost out-of-reach for the poor. The National Health Policy 2012 has identified the areas of public health services only, he pointed out. “The policy also needs to cover the private health service providers to bring it under strict government control.”
, secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Association Sylhet, said association leaders have repeatedly called private clinic and hospital owners and healthcare service providers to reduce their service charges, but they simply ignored the request.
Director (hospitals and clinics) of the Directorate General of Health Services Said“We’re now working on the draft of a law on private healthcare system so that private clinics and diagnostic centres can be brought under the strict state supervision,” he asserted.