Govt outsourcing lab, radiology services at DHQ hospitals

PESHAWAR: The health department is outsourcing pathology and radiology services at district headquarters (DHQ) hospitals under public-private partnership initiative to provide unhindered services to the patients.

In case of Chitral, there have already been public complaints about handing over of THQ hospitals in Garam Chashma and Mastuj to the private sector.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Foundation advertised the plan on October 16 to invite applications from the interested groups and organisations having expertise in the area of radiology and pathology and select the ones with sound background to start services in district headquarters hospitals.

About 100 firms have shown their interest to enter into partnership with the health department, according to officials. They added that a new advertisement would be floated to ask the interested groups to show their experience in the area of health diagnostics and final selection was expected within a month.

Officials hopeful about success of public-private partnership initiative

Officials said that the move was meant to provide uninterrupted investigative services and subsequent treatment to people in district headquarters hospitals as opposed to the existing situation where equipment installed at the cost of millions of rupees were lying unutilised owing to lack of maintenance or non-availability of electricity.

They said the agreement would be signed with the successful parties in all districts of the province after examining their infrastructure to ensure that they could provide quality services to people.

“They would be charging government-approved rates from the patients for X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI and laboratory tests in the respective hospitals,” said officials.

They said that in several cases costly machines set up by the government were into disuse after few months because there was lack of maintenance. “For a petty maintenance work, the government has to move applications that take long time and as a result the patients suffer,” said officials.

They said that government would provide space, electricity and staff to run the machines and carry out investigations of patients on the premises of the respective hospitals.

The contract will be signed through Health Foundation Act 2016 under public-private partnership initiative initially for three years during which it would be renewed annually on basis of their performance. The party will have to abide by the conditions under the law to make it sure that the programme is used for the benefit of the patients. In case of violation, they would be penalised in accordance with the terms and conditions.

“We will also be evaluating the financial and administration capacities of the applicants prior to inking agreements with them,” said officials. The programme also includes tribal districts where the performance of health facilities is not up to the mark and people visit health facilities in settled districts for minor ailments.

It will save billions of rupees for the government as the contracting parties would be required to install their own machines and equipment in addition to their maintenance as a result of which people would get quality and smooth services.

Officials hoped that the initiative would be a success because the organisations were eager to enter into partnership with government owing to presence of hundreds of patients in district headquarters hospitals every day.

“The move is part of provincial health policy, which seeks to launch public-private partnership in hospitals and help to ensure provision of continued services to patients,” they said.

 

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