Islamabad -  Residents of the federal capital have demanded the authorities concerned to prepare a mechanism for fixing fee of medical practitioners, who are looting the patients in the name of treatment in their private clinics.

According to them, due to absence of fee structure at official level, there is exploitation in this regard and every doctor is charging unjustifiable fees from patients.

They said that due to this situation, patients have to bear heavy expenses during their treatment, as mostly doctors not only get heavy fees but also prescribe them medicines of their sponsored pharmaceutical companies.

Aslam Awan, a patient said, “It has become a routine practice that doctors particularly medical specialists of different field collect heavy fees from patients without considering their financial condition.”

He said it was astonishing that senior government doctors operate their private clinics during their duty timings, which was against professional ethics and norms, while in their absence “trainee doctors examine the patients at OPDs.”

“Private practice of doctors who are working in public hospitals should be banned and there should be monitoring system to check whether they are observing duty hours in their respective hospitals,” another patient, Salim Altaf said. He asked the concerned quarters to take notice of absence of senior doctors at the OPDs and different wards during duty hours.

He suggested that these doctors should be allowed to run their clinics in same hospitals in evening time to facilitate patients by charging low fees.

This would help such patients who come from far-flung areas of the country and fail to get consultation from the doctors due to heavy load at the OPD in daytime and limited hospital timings, he added.

He said that despite getting heavy fees, unlike medical practices in abroad where one doctor examines five to seven patients in a day, here each doctor examines several patients daily in their private clinics, which was against the professional ethics.

When contacted, an official of Pakistan Institute of Medical

Sciences (PIMS) said that the hospital management was trying its level best to ensure best medical care to the patients.

He added a sufficient number of doctors perform duties at OPDs, including medical officers, professors, assistant professors and post-graduates.

He said the hospital was established with an aim to provide special healthcare services to the patients with critical diseases.

However, the hospital has now become a major medical facility, which is visited by patients suffering from different diseases from all over the country, he added.