Aspen maintains services are free

The Ba Hospital operated by Aspen Medical. Picture: FILE

Aspen Medical has maintained that services offered at the Lautoka and Ba public hospitals are free to all Fijian citizens.

Responding to comments made by general practitioner Dr Mukesh Bhagat’s claims that a patient was charged more than $46,000 at Lautoka Hospital, the company explained that the patient was not a Fijian citizen.

Aspen Medical’s acting CEO Gavin Whiteside said the expatriate had to undergo many tests and procedures to determine the cause of his illness.

“This, coupled with treatment charges by our expert team, medication, food and other services had cost the patient approximately $2200 per day, which is comparatively cheaper to overseas hospitals in Australia and New Zealand,” he said in a statement.

“The patient required constant care and support for 19 days which resulted in the billed amount.

“The cost to a Fijian citizen for this level of service and care would have been zero. There are certainly some misconceptions circulating and we would like to invite all our stakeholders, including the respected Dr Bhagat and members of the media to reach out to us with their inquiries.

“We are more than happy to talk to you.”

He added that they have achieved a lot within the 14 months since the hospitals transition to Aspen Medical management with more developments expected.

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