Private hospitals concerned at 15pc tax on healthcare products

Private hospitals concerned at 15pc tax on healthcare products

KARACHI: Former Sindh health minister and Private Hospitals and Clinics Association head Dr. Syed Junaid Ali Shah has expressed serious concerns about the imposition of the 15 percent sales tax on healthcare products by the government.  

During an emergency meeting of the association, Dr Shah warned that the tax will potentially burden patients using these healthcare products.

The emergency meeting was attended by prominent healthcare figures including Dr. Bilal Faiz Khan, Prof. Dr. Farhan Essa, and others. The participants underscored widespread industry dissatisfaction with the current fiscal policies affecting healthcare provision in the country.

Calling for grant of industry status to healthcare service providers, he quoted global precedent of recognizing healthcare as an essential industry.

He also criticized the introduction of a 3 to 5pc duty on previously duty-free healthcare products, predicting higher costs for private hospitals and increased financial strain on patients, ultimately.

"Medical treatment is a necessity, not a luxury," Dr. Shah stressed, highlighting the critical role of private hospitals in healthcare delivery without government subsidies.

He called for an immediate revision of the imposed taxes to mitigate the adverse impacts on patient care.

Dr Shah also opposed the proposal to remove sales tax exemptions for charitable hospitals, warning that it would hinder their ability to provide free treatment to underprivileged patients. He suggested comprehensive stakeholder consultations by the government to address sector-wide concerns.