BY ALICE NANTARA
HELENA Goldie Hospital (HGH) has taken a bold step in the hope of securing its future.
This was confirmed through posters pinned up in shop fronts and the hospital’s notice board declaring newly implemented fee charges vital for the survival and running of the church-owned health-care service.
Since 2014, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and Support Programme (HSSP) has been cut by 33 percent and its annual grant remains the same till present.
The Hospital no longer receives direct support for its annual budget from traditional donor partners except towards its capital expenditure (CAPEX) budget for Human Resources development and for infrastructure and medical requirements thus forcing the private establishment to look at other measures that will help in meeting and minimising major drawbacks caused by the budget cut done by SIG and traditional donors.
It costs the hospital $85 to care for one patient overnight and currently the hospital cannot really do that right now without experiencing major deficit in its already growing small purse.
According to HGH management team, despite not having empty beds and no patients, the establishment will still require money to meet financial costs such as wages, electricity, telephone bills, repairs and maintenance, etc. Such is the state of affairs HGH is now faced with that they have come up with a solution – imposing fees on the all services provided.
With the exemption of the out-patient department (OPD) whereby children, the unemployed and disabled are not charged, every other service have fees imposed.
The OPD charges employed citizens $10 for consultation while expats are required to pay an amount of $100 for the exact service.
To be admitted in any of the wards, fees are imposed according to your current status and multiplied by how many days you spent in a hospital bed.
Ward admission fee for children and students is $10 plus an extra $2 is charged thereafter per night while unemployed adults’ admission fee is $20 thereafter a daily down payment of $5.
The employed admission fee is $50 and thereafter an expected amount of $10 should be paid for each overnight stay while expats are going to be charged $50 per night.
Other medical services that require fees are the: medical examination (locals $100, expats $200), Scanning and X-ray ($50), Laboratory tests ($50), Birth and Death certificates ($50), Oxygen ($200), Sick leave report ,Medical record book or Mother’s Book ($20), Baby book ($25), Rental is $250 per night and market fees are also imposed on market vendors.
Fees imposed for services provided by HGH are in effect as of the 1st day of 2018 and subject to change as when determined by market fluctuations, and it’s the prerogative of the hospital management.