Abuja private hospital owners have bemoaned the current tax regime in the Federal Capital Territory, saying the incidence of multiple taxes is crippling their operations.
They have therefore solicited the urgent intervention of the Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Finance to prevail on Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in order to mitigate their current tax burden.
A representative of the medical practitioners, Dr Wisdom Ihejieto, reportedly told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in an interview that the taxes and levies being paid by the private hospital owners were impacting negatively on healthcare delivery given their cost implications for patients and facility owners.
Ihejieto, who is a member of the Abuja Guild of Medical Directors, lamented that a situation where up to 14 department of AMAC coming to ask for different levies and taxes was undesirable for the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
While noting that some of the taxes and levies are duplicated, the hospital owners have to also contend with other bills such as water, electricity, house, environmental and security bills, among others.
He clarified further: ”Now if you have all that, then it becomes difficult for the patient to come to the private hospitals and get healthcare delivery at much reduced cost.
“In fact the multiple taxes increases the operational cost of private hospitals and by extension increases the bill of the patients,’’ Ihejieto added.
On what could be done by government to help the medical practitioners out of the multiple taxation problem, he suggested that “what they can do now is to give a waver that the multiplicity of taxes should not be.
“The government can say don’t over tax these people anymore. If government do this, the private health practitioners will reduce the cost of health delivery on patients. The government could instruct that the hospitals should not be disturbed”.
Ihejieto said that if religious institutions were not paying multiple taxes, the government could also help the health establishments so that in the long run, the patients could also enjoy some reduction in their medical bills