POST TIME: 1 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM
Referral hospitals to go under NBR scanner

Referral hospitals to go 
under NBR scanner

As the medical sector is rapidly taking a commercial shape, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to go tough against the country's referral hospitals to make sure that poor people can avail themselves of better treatment from there as per import incentive conditions, reports UNB. The government in the national budget for the current fiscal year has made it mandatory for all referral hospitals to offer at least five per cent seat, bed or other facilities free-of-cost to poor patients against the incentives provided by the government since 2005. "The government is sacrificing the revenue (import duty) for the sake of the country's common people by giving duty-free import of medical equipment for these referral hospitals. So, these hospitals have to provide free medical facilities to poor and insolvent patients," a senior NBR official told the news agency. The NBR has already asked the Customs Intelligence to constantly monitor the matter along with others in the referral hospitals and submit their reports from time to time to know whether poor patients are getting better treatment at the hospitals, the official said.
According to him, NBR Chairman Nojibur Rahman is very serious about the matter and has decided to make some amendments to the system so that poor people could avail of modern medical facilities from these hospitals.  "If the NBR finds any breach of the condition, then it could scrap the duty-free facility and realise the money for the incentive benefits," the official said wishing anonymity.
Generally, a referral hospital is a hospital that a patient is referred to by other healthcare centres because it is better equipped and has specially trained physicians for better as well as special treatment.
The hospitals, listed as referral ones, are entitled to the duty-free facility on import of 251 types of medical equipment under certain conditions.
 The duty-free facility has been provided by issuing a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) in 2005. The hospitals import the machinery under indemnity bond.
The existing referral hospitals in Bangladesh are: BIRDEM Hospital, National Heart Foundation, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, Zainul Haque Sikder Women's Medical College and Hospital, Khawaja Yunus Ali Medical College and Hospital, Ibrahim Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Jalalabad Rajib-Rabeya Medical and Hospital, United Hospital Ltd Bangladesh, Square Hospitals Limited, Salauddin Specialized Hospital Limited, Ad-din Hospital, Dhaka, Delta Medical College and Hospital, Labaid Specialized Hospital, Green Life Medical College and Hospital, Enam Medical College and Hospital, Bangabandhu Memorial Hospital, Sumona Clinic General Hospital, Shaeed Monsur Ali Medical College, Dr. Sirajul Islam Hospital, Care Specialized Hospital, Dhaka, Samorita Hospital, Gazi Medical College and Ali Hospital.
To earn the 'referral' status a hospital does need to have advanced research facility. A mono-disciplinary hospital with at least 100 beds or multi-disciplinary one with 150 beds can be termed as a referral hospital having the registration from the Ministry of Health.
Under the conditions, at least two experienced doctors should supervise each department of those hospitals.