Private clinic and hospital owners have announced a suspension of all medical surgeries starting from Thursday in protest against the demand for an increased fee of anesthesiologists in Rajshahi.
Rajshahi branch leaders of Bangladesh Private Clinic, Hospital and Diagnostic Owners Association made the announcement at a press conference at a restaurant in the city on Wednesday evening.
Earlier on September 4, the Rajshahi branch of Bangladesh Society of Anesthesiologists (BSA) sent a new fee list for anesthesia services to various private clinics and hospitals resulting in a heated dispute between the two parties.
In response to the demands of the anesthesiologists, owners of private clinics and hospitals are saying that if such demands are accepted, the cost of anesthesia services will increase, which ultimately will have to be borne by the patients.
BSA Rajshahi unit General Secretary Dr. Khizir Hossain said there has been no increase in anesthesiologists’ fee since 2016.
“Clinic and hospital owners charge patients more money during surgeries in the name of anesthesiologists. We have informed them that the fees designated under our name (anesthesiologists) should be paid to us directly,” he said.
Presenting the new fee increase, he said, "Currently, anesthesiologists charge patients between Tk1,500 to Tk2,000 for performing cesarean sections. We have demanded an increase to Tk2,500 for the same service. However, clinic owners are claiming that we are demanding a fee twice as much."
Meanwhile, Mukhlesur Rahman, general secretary of Rajshahi chapter of Bangladesh Private Clinic, Hospital and Diagnostic Owners Association, claimed that the treatment cost will increase if the rate fixed by the anesthesiologists is implemented.
“As a result, the medical expenses of many people, especially low-income people, will go beyond their affordability,” he added.
"That’s why we have decided to suspend all kinds of surgeries in private hospitals and clinics in Rajshahi from Thursday. We have taken this decision in the interest of the patients.”