Gilgit, February 7: The Ministry of Health, Gilgit-Baltistan, has released a notification to announce charging of fees from patients at government hospitals across the region.
According to the notification, the government hospitals will charge 15 rupees per patient for OPD, 50 rupees for consulting a doctor, 150 for x-ray and 200 for conducting an ultrasound checkup of the body.
It is pertinent to note that government hospitals in the Punjab province charge 1 (one) rupee per patient as OPD charges.
The charging of fees is likely to put extra burden on already impoverished families across the region.
The GB government has been going through financial difficulties and retention of qualified doctors in the region has been a major problem mainly due to low salaries. Unable to increase the budget for health, the government has apparently moved to transfer the burden on the patients who are already suffering due to poor health facilities in the region.