On April 1, 2011, PIH-Lesotho eliminated user fees at Mamohau Hospital after agreeing to support the facility with the Government of Lesotho and the Christian Health Association of Lesotho. PIH staff members worked to make the hospital a cleaner and more dignified place for patient care before reopening.
By Andrew Marx, PIH Director of Communications
Some striking data on what happened on the first two days after we eliminated user fees at Mamohau on April 1. In just two days, without our having yet done any community outreach or having had time to dramatically improved services at the hospital, the number of patient visits per day more than tripled, from 55/day to 175/day.
Before April 1, Mamohau was seeing an average of 55 patients per day.
Starting April 1, we eliminated charging user fees at the hospital. That's all we did, aside from a one-day work party that included a thorough cleaning and paint job.
For the first two days after we got rid of user fees, Mamohau treated an average of 175 patients a day. That's an increase of 120 patients each day.
For those looking for more data on costs and benefits:
- Mamohau will lose $4500/month from not charging user fees.
- If the hospital continues to see an additional 120 patients a day, that means they will see over 3,600 more patients each month.
- So to collect $4500/month, user fees were discouraging at least 3,600 patients each month from receiving care.
If PIH-Lesotho’s estimates of eventually seeing 400 patients/day are right, that number will increase from 3,600 to over 10,000 additional patients a month who will be receiving care—all just by eliminating user fees.
Read why user fees discourage patients from visiting health clinics.