THE Ministry of Health and Child Care says it is in the process of developing a framework to regulate medical fees charged by health practitioners following reports that some medical doctors were charging way above the gazetted fees.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa told journalists recently that once the regulatory authority has been put in place, doctors who flouted the set charges would be prosecuted.
“We do not want this nonsense we are seeing here. Already, mechanisms have been set up,” Parirenyatwa said.
“We thought that we could use the Medical Services Act to extract a statutory instrument so the lawyers are looking at that and also looking if we need a new Bill and go through Parliament.”
Government set new fees for the private sector in May where consultation fees for hospitals or nursing homes rose from $20 to $35 while antenatal care went up to $35 for the initial visit and $30 for post-natal visits.
Parirenyatwa said medical practitioners should stick to the gazetted fees, saying the figure came after long consultations with both medical practitioners and the medical aid societies.
“We will take punitive action against those who are charging above the gazetted fees,” Parirenyatwa said.
“They should stick to the gazetted tariffs, that is why we are developing a regulatory authority to say such people, how do you regulate them from a professional point of view.
“Punitive action can be taken especially if it is a doctor and you refuse to do what others have agreed on, you must face punitive action.