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Private medical clinics closed in Mazar

Private medical clinics closed in Mazar

Mar 31, 2011 - 13:09

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PANinfo-icon): Tens of private healthinfo-icon clinics have been closed in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, a move doctors who own the centres say was unfair.

“Over 70 private medical clinics which were very close to the main government hospital in Mazar-i- Sharif have been closed,” Dr. Mirwais Rabi, chief of public health for Balkh, said.

The move was decided a month ago to relocate private clinics near the hospital to other parts of the city where more people need access to health services, he said. The move was solely to benefit more people, he said.

However, physicians who run these centres say the move was a ploy by the government to take away their business, and would leave many people in the city without access to good health care.

Dr. Wakil Mateen, who runs one such clinic, said most people who came to his centre did so because they were unhappy with the care they received at the government hospital.

“If these centres are gone, people will definitely face difficulties, therefore their closing is unjust and unfair.”

Mateen said he believed hundreds of small clinics had been closed down but that the government was only admitting to shutting a few.

He said that doctors should have been given more notice of the move, but the public health director said the private medical centres had been given a month’s notice to shut down their centres and find a new place. Many, he said, had simply not complied.

Some residents of Mazar-i-Sharif say that they will face difficulties because of the closing of the private medical centres.

Gholam Ali, 30, a resident of the second district in the city, said: “Patients are not treated well in the government hospital. My mother was hospitalised there for 20 days with hepatitis B, but her condition never improved. So I took her to one of the private clinics, and now she is getting much better.”

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