By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: In a bid to improve the healthcare services and standard of the private hospitals, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) sealed nine private hospitals and degraded 28 others to polyclinic centers.
The ministry also blacklisted 159 medicines importing companies. As many as 40 foreign and 119 local companies were allegedly involved in import of spurious drugs.
Minister of Public Health, Ferozuddin Feroz, said that in a bid to provide quality healthcare services to public, the ministry crafted a “perfect monitoring” mechanism to evaluate performance of the private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, he said that three weeks ago the inspection team has evaluated services of 54 private hospitals in the capital city. After the assessments and observations, the team found out that 27 private hospitals did not adhere to the requirements and providing poor quality healthcare services to patients. According to the minister, the blacklisted hospitals did not have the facilities and professionals to treat patients.
He pointed out that due to considerable problems, nine out of 54 private hospitals were sealed, 28 others degraded to clinics and remaining 18 would resume operations after assuring the ministry that quality services would be provided.
The blacklisted hospitals are: Ali Sina Hospital based in Kart-e Seh, Spinghar Hospital in Kot-e Sangi, Madawa Hospital on Company Road, Shamsur Raman Hospital in Kart-e Now, Karim Rahman Hospital in Khair Khana, Gulab Ahmad Zai Hospital in Arzan Qeemat, Halaj Hospital in Khair Khana, Faisal Hospital on Sarsabzi Road and Khurami Hospital in Khair Khana.
The degraded hospitals are: Tolo Hospital, Khuja Musafir Hospital, Kamal Orthopedic Hospital, Fatima Zahrah Hospital, Faiz Hospital, Zayishgah Hospital, Alsabad Hospital, Albader Hospital, Mariam Hospital, Babur Hospital, Kawsar Hospital, Watan Hospital, Hakim Nasir Hospital, Husni Hospital, Wahaj Hospital, Bust Hospital, Ghani Afghan Hospital, Rahimi Hospital, Imam Zaman Hospital and Sardar Kayenat Hospital.
The minister said that the blacklisted hospitals neither had proper surgical wards, permanent doctors, recovery rooms, delivery room nor medicines and adequate surgery tools including laboratories. He added that the hospitals were not taking due care of hygiene as well.
He said that the hospitals downgraded to clinics would not be able to admit patients and carry out surgeries. The minister urged public to stop going to these hospitals-turned-clinics.
It comes at the time when, when people times and again criticized the government for failure to take action against substandard drugs importers and private hospitals. People were forced to leave for foreign countries for medical treatment as private hospitals in the country are fleecing patients despite the fact that they could not diagnose them with the limited and poor facilities.
According to reports, Afghans annually pay around US$300 million for quality medical treatment in foreign countries and Afghan government sustained a big financial damage in this regard.
Regarding the blacklisted medicine importers, the minister said the companies would not be allowed to import drugs because their licenses have been cancelled. “Nearly eight tons of substandard medicines were seized from stocks of the companies.”
The minister warned the companies to import high quality medicines; otherwise, their licenses would be cancelled and introduced to the Attorney General Office.
In the past 13 years, most of the private hospitals tried to convince people through advertisements that they would provided optimum quality healthcare facilities. The health ministry’s assessment procedure indicated that most of the private hospitals are opened solely for business purpose rather than serving public.
Afghanistan Times tried to obtain comments of the private hospitals’ union, but failed as the office-bearers were not ready to talk.