The surgery tax and other penalties come as doctors and health workers leave government hospitals that have failed to pay salaries
Houthis impose a tax on every operation performed by doctors in private hospitals
Houthi authorities have imposed several new regulations and taxes on doctors working in private hospitals in areas under rebel control, a health official told Al-Masdar Online.
The health official, who works in one of the hospitals, explained that the Houthi-run tax authority in the ministry of finance in Sana’a has informed private hospitals that taxes would be deducted for hosting outside doctors. The directive, a copy of which was obtained by Almasdar Online, imposes a four percent tax if the outside doctor has a tax ID number, and a 15 percent tax if the doctor doesn’t have a tax ID. In addition, every operation performed by doctors who receive a commission from a private hospital will now be subject to a four percent tax.
The new taxes come as doctors and health workers in the Houthi-run public sector are being forced to look for work in private hospitals because they rarely receive their salaries.
Houthi authorities have been harassing specialist doctors in government and private hospitals, with the aim of forcing them to work free of charge, especially in orthopedics, to treat wounded Houthi fighters, the official said. The Ministry of Health has told administrators to suspend any doctor who leaves a government hospital to work in a private setting, warning the private hospitals that they would be fined 500,000 Yemeni riyals (about $1,000) if they fail to suspend doctors who stop their government work.
For doctors who are not currently employed by the government sector, the ministry requires them to work on fixed days in public hospitals, the official said, adding that doctors who refuse will be stripped of their licenses to practice and can only regain their credentials with a statement from a government hospital.