Following this week’s posting on Yumi Tok Tok, Facebook public forum, of a payment to NRH emergency service staff with picture of payment receipt carrying MHMS stamp and signature, the Ministry of Health would like to confirm that payment is unofficial and the NRH Disciplinary Committee has initiated investigation treating the incident as misconduct.
The emergency care services at NRH are free for all citizens, and no staff other than authorised revenue collector is allowed to collect fee.
The NRH is a public government hospital and its run under the health services act so all citizens or the public should access the services free at various point of services. However, the Minister of Health Under the act can prescribe certain fees to be charged at the hospitals. For emergency services it is free for all citizens. There are small fees which are charged for example $20 for X-ray and these are only collected by authorised revenue officers at NRH accounts and Treasury, Ministry of Finance. No one else besides these authorised staff should collect money for Hospital services. Anyone that does it without authority should be disciplined as misconduct. The incident reported is illegal and unacceptable.
Doctor, nurses, paramedics, public health officers are not authorized revenue collectors so any payments to them are both unofficial and potentially illegal.
As such public are strongly urged to come forward and report the matter to authorities so investigations can be initiated and carried out effectively than simply posting on social media. In fact, The Ministry of Health has experienced difficulties with investigating into such matters due to lack of evidences in several occasions in the past. With lack of evidences, the investigations get stalled and eventually matter left unattended.
Additionally, Staff, corporate service workers, doctors and nurses at NRH including health workers across the country are strongly urged to also report of such corrupt practices with evidences, and not to harbour those engaged or involved in such unacceptable practices, even if they are close work colleagues or friends. The impact of such practices is immense and for health this could potentially risk people’s health and potentially lead to fatalities.
One can only imagine people with financial difficulties, needing medical attention but knowing that they need to pay for the health service, surely, they will be influenced to opt for other remedies other than going to a nearby hospital or health clinic. This puts their health and lives at grave risks.
The revised hospital fee paper endorsed by MHMS Senior Executive Management, in November 2021, that stipulates charges for various NRH services including for foreigners has been submitted to the Attorney General’s office and will be conveyed to the public.
Call NRH accounts on phone 22812 or 28321 should any member of the public or user of NRH services come across any instructions to make direct payments to NRH staff.