Syrian Health Ministry raises medical examination fees by 600%

Cancer patients in al-Biruni Hospital suffer from poor services and lack of care - January 2023 (Enab Baladi/Sarah al-Ahmad)

Cancer patients in al-Biruni Hospital suffer from poor services and lack of care - January 2023 (Enab Baladi/Sarah al-Ahmad)

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The Ministry of Health in the Syrian regime government has raised doctors’ consultation fees, regardless of their specialty, by almost 600% from the previously applied rates.

According to the new medical fee schedule set by the ministry, consultation fees for general practitioners have increased to 25,000 SYP, 40,000 SYP for specialists, and 50,000 SYP for specialists with over 10 years of practice.

The ministry also made adjustments to the medical consultation fees, which include patient examination to study their file and write a report on their health status. The cost has been raised to 150,000 SYP, and the fee for home visits has been doubled if within the city limits. If it exceeds that, the fee is determined by mutual agreement between the parties.

Sources in the Doctors’ Syndicate (names not specified) told the local Al-Watan newspaper on Thursday, June 27, that the new fee schedule is currently the most appropriate to keep up with the general situation and to ensure the continuity of work and provision of medical services. They noted that this schedule was issued after a lengthy study that lasted for three years.

Private hospitals at half the price of hotels

Regarding accommodation in private hospitals and private sections of public hospitals, the Ministry of Health has set fees based on the classification of rooms in hospitals, where the cost is half the price set by the Ministry of Tourism for hotel rooms. These fees include accommodation and meals in all rooms and classifications of hospital rooms.

For years, discussions have been ongoing about raising medical consultation fees, pushing doctors to set prices that may not suit the economic conditions of citizens in the regime-controlled areas.

The regime-controlled areas in Syria suffer from a significant shortage of medical professionals in various specializations, due to the migration of most doctors and the unfavorable working conditions in Syria amidst economic, living, and service crises that do not encourage continued work there, without effective government solutions to help mitigate the effects of the scarcity of essential medical specialties.

15 Million needing healthcare

The infrastructure for basic health services, such as hospitals and health centers, requires maintenance and rehabilitation, according to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which documented the healthcare sector crisis in Syria in 2022.

The report mentioned that the healthcare sector is in crisis, with a significant portion of centers either out of service or partially operational. The number of people needing healthcare has reached 15 million, in addition to 6.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Syria.

 

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