AMMAN — Over the next three years, the Ministry of Health will gradually stop referring its beneficiaries to non-public hospitals, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Minister of Health Abdul Latif Wreikat said the cost of referring patients to private, university and military hospitals amounts to JD256 million every year, nearly half of the ministry’s annual budget of JD515 million.
He told The Jordan Times that the ministry paid JD10 million to these hospitals yesterday and still has JD44 million in outstanding debts to them.
Of the JD10 million paid yesterday, JD4 million went to the King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC), JD3 million to the Royal Medical Services (RMS), JD300,000 to the King Abdullah I University Hospital, JD360,000 to the University of Jordan (UJ) Hospital, and the rest to several private hospitals.
Every year, the ministry pays an average of JD100 million to the KHCC, JD48 million to the RMS, JD48 million to the UJ Hospital, JD52 million to the King Abdullah I Hospital and JD8 million to private sector facilities, the minister explained in a previous statement to The Jordan Times.
“If patients cannot be treated in one of the ministry’s hospitals, or if beds are unavailable, they are referred to another facility affiliated with our partners,” Wreikat said.
However, to eliminate this financial burden on the ministry’s budget, a plan is under way to develop the ministry’s facilities and equip them with doctors in underserved specialisations, the minister noted.
The project began recently with the opening of a cardiovascular disease unit at Prince Hamzah Hospital with a 50-bed capacity, while next month will see the opening of neurosurgery and plastic surgery units in the same hospital.
The plan also includes the opening of an organ transplant unit at Al Bashir Hospital.
Meanwhile, the ministry plans to send public sector doctors for training abroad, and will contract surgeons retired from the RMS to conduct surgeries that its doctors are not qualified to perform.