Physician, Heal Thyself!

Physician, Heal Thyself!Physician, Heal Thyself!

The clinical deputy at the ministry of health said the newly compiled tariff codes will officially commence from November 6 and charging ‘’extra fees by doctors will not be acceptable.”

Dr. Mohammad Haji Aghajani referred to previous instances of ‘’unofficial fees’’ charged from patients by some health facilities and said ‘’from this date on, no extra charges, other than what is mentioned in the official hospital bill, will be tolerated.’’ He called for all health facilities - including state, private, charity and other hospitals to embrace the law and put an end to all forms of “other payments,” which he considered to be “bribes and kickbacks.’’

The unhealthy practice of taking ‘’bribery’’ from patients for special favors was not uncommon. Complaints from citizens followed by several lawsuits prompted authorities to combat this ugly phenomenon - so much so that it became a crucial component of the health reform plan, designed by President Hassan Rouhani’s  government.

The new tariff code which cost the government around $ 4.5 million to prepare, is aimed at uprooting the long-standing corruption in medical circles once and for all. The minister of health had also commented on the issue saying corruption had led many households to ‘’plunge into poverty.” There are cases where $30,000 has been paid for a simple surgery, Hassan Hashemi noted. He also spoke of strict measures to isolate and even ostracize corrupt doctors from the medical community.


 Legal Enforcement  

Aghajani said the government is ‘’determined’’ to fight medical corruption and asked citizens to call the hotline 1690 to report any medical misconduct. He said if the reports are proved to be malpractices by provincial experts, then the case will be pursued at the Medical Council Special Court. The punishment for first time offenders includes ‘’suspension of medical license’’ for three months. Repeat offenders will face longer suspension and finally revocation of license.’’ This will be in addition to cash penalties,’’ said Aghajani.