Private health institutions in the Emirates are concerned with the proposal of the Ministry of Health to hike the fees for various medical services in the country.
"A committee has been set up to review fees charged for different health services the ministry provides for the private medical sector. This includes the licensing and renewal of licenses for doctors and technical medical staff, and the licensing of the medical or health establishments as well," said Dr Ibrahim Ali Al Qadi, Director of the Private Medical Practice Department at the ministry. The ministry wants to hike the fees for some services that it provides like issuing medical certificates, laboratory analysis reports, licensing of doctors, renewal of licenses for medical and technical personnel, licensing of private pharmaceutical establishments, including pharmacies, medical stores, pharmaceutical manufacturing units and scientific offices, according to The Khaleej Times. This move is designed to generate some revenue for the cash-strapped ministry. But private institutions say that this move will affect their business, "If I want to obtain a license for 50 doctors for example it will cost the hospital a considerable amount of money. This will affect our business. However, if it is a government policy we will have to abide by it," an official from a private institute said. Dr Mustafa Mujahid from Poly Consultants Clinic, Sharjah echoed these comments, "Considering the spiraling cost of living, doctors and technical medical staff claim a hike in their salaries which can lead to a situation where the income of a small private medical establishment may be less than its expenses," he said.