The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Authority (KHMHA) is in the process of out sourcing its security services as part of an overall move to streamline its finance division, increase its revenue-collection base and cut its expenses.
The hospital, which was built in 1995, hires just over 30 security guards. Up until recently, the hospital’s security officers used to operate in three 8-hour shifts.
The Reporter understands, however, that recently KHMHA changed the shift system to match that of the Government’s 12-hour shift for police and other public officers at the borders.
The KHMH receives a monthly subvention from the government of $1.1 million, but its increased services, coupled with more staff to provide these services and greater maintenance have added to its expenses and now the hospital is looking at ways to be more viable.
In an effort to curb those rising expenses, the KHMH has been advertising in the newspapers for about a month now—a process that will continue until October 31st, 2012—informing of its intention to out source its security services and also inviting security firms to submit contract offers. This is one area where the hospital sees it can cut costs.
According to reports, this announcement has created some disquiet among many of the in-house security guards, because it creates uncertainty about their future at the hospital.
Whichever security firm gets the contract will more than likely not take on all of them, and it is expected that some will loose their jobs.
Others have issues with the salary they will be making with a private company and have questions regarding the benefits they currently enjoy at the quasi-government institution.
Yet others have listed concerns over their working shifts and whether or not transportation will be provided for those late night eleventh-hour calls to replace a sick colleague on the post, and other logistical issues.
While the hospital did not answer our questions regarding the amount it pays out in salaries per month, our source indicates that security guards make between $900 and $1100 per month, depending on years of service. If those figures are correct, by our calculations, the hospital pays out just over $30,000 a month in salaries to its security guards.
The outsourcing of the security service is not all, however. The KHMH is also improving its collections capacity to recover outstanding fees for services rendered.
The hospital is now streamlining its billing and collection unit to capitalize more effectively on fees that have not been paid by patients for examinations done using imaging equipment as well as debts incurred by patients for being housed at the wards until they recover.
In addition, the KHMH released a press release this week informing the public that its Accident and Emergency Unit will, as of November 1, 2012, start to charge a $10 fee to all who go there with non-emergency ailments.
For instance, walk-in cases with patients suffering from the flu or the common cough and cold, minor cuts, bruises, sore throat and headaches will be required to pay the $10 fee for medical services.
The hospital advises that to avoid paying the fee, patients should use the public clinics throughout the country, since the KHMH and its E section are for emergency and mass casualty cases.
For patients who use the KHMH pharmacy to collect medication, the hospital will introduce an additional $5 administrative fee, which will accompany the existing charge of $1 per medication disbursed.
This new fee will also take effect on November 1, 2012. The hospital has said that after it has transitioned through its streamlining phase, it will issue an official press release to update the public on the new changes that are taking place.