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Heratis threaten protests over charging fee at govt hospital

Heratis threaten protests over charging fee at govt hospital

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Jan 21, 2019 - 18:46

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Provincial council members and residents of western Herat province on Monday asked the government to permanently stop taking fee from patients at the Zonal Hospital.

A few days back, the hospital in Herat City temporarily stopped charging patients but the provincial council and residents today at a gathering asked for a permanent end to the charges.

Kamran Alizai, the Herat provincial council head, called charging patients in state-run hospitals against the law and said: “Providing healthinfo-icon services free of charge (in government hospitals) is according to the law, but now hospitals apply charges which is against the law.”

A number of residents of the province also said charging patients in the Herat Zonal Hospital was against the law and warned of protests if the process did not stop.

Suhrab, a resident of Herat city, said: “If the government ignored legitimate demands of people, we would stage demonstrations and would defend our rights.”

Abdullah, another resident, said, “Health services should be free for all people of Afghanistaninfo-icon (in government hospitals).”

However, Mohammad Asif Kabir, the deputy public health director, said the fee was charged based on the orders of the Ministry of Public Health to improve the quality of health services in the hospital.

He said they were employing more workers in the hospital and charging fee on patients would continue.

Government health services have recently started charging fee and the process first started from Herat province.

mds/ma

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