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Sun, Aug

Wolesi Jirga Amends Health Law to Boost Quality Medical Services

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voting-parliamentWolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Saturday amended the national health law in order to standardize medical treatment in Afghanistan.

The amendments by the Wolesi Jirga will now enable government hospitals and health centers to invoke a fee system for patients seeking treatment in specialized medical departments.

The lack of technology and specialized equipment often force patients to seek medical treatment outside the country – an issue that impacts profoundly on middle-class families, said officials.

According to one MP: "On the basis of the amendments, all sensitive medical services will be provided to the patients in exchange for a fee."

Lawmakers opposing the amendments have announced it is unconstitutional and against article 52 of the law which stresses that all medical and health services should be provided free of charge.

"Asking for a fee in exchange for health services in government institutions is against the constitution," MP Farhad Azimi said on Saturday.

"We cannot violate the constitution by uttering illogical statements and saying that hospitals do not have facilities," MP Ramazan Bashordost said.

The Lower House ratified eight chapters and 34 articles of the country's health law in 2009. However the Ministry of Justice sent recommendations for amending the law last year to the Lower House for approval.