Pan African Medical Journal

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Determination of chest x-ray cost using activity based costing approach at Penang General Hospital, Malaysia

Muhammad Atif, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, Asrul Akmal Shafie, Fahad Saleem, Nafees Ahmad


Background: Activity based costing (ABC) is an approach to get insight of true costs and to solve accounting problems. It provides more accurate information on product cost than conventional accounting system. The purpose of this study was to identify detailed resource consumption for chest x-ray procedure. Methods: Human resource cost was calculated by multiplying the mean time spent by employees doing specific activity to their per-minute salaries. The costs of consumables and clinical equipments were obtained from the procurement section of the Radiology Department. The cost of the building was calculated by multiplying the area of space used by the chest X-ray facility with the unit cost of public building department. Moreover, straight-line deprecation with a discount rate of 3% was assumed for calculation of equivalent annual costs for building and machines. Cost of electricity was calculated by multiplying number of kilo watts used by electrical appliance in the year 2010 with electricity tariff for Malaysian commercial consumers (MYR 0.31 per kWh). Results: Five activities were identified which were required to develop one chest X-ray film. Human resource, capital, consumable and electricity cost was MYR 1.48, MYR 1.98, MYR 2.15 and MYR 0.04, respectively. Total cost of single chest X-ray was MYR 5.65 (USD 1.75). Conclusion: By applying ABC approach, we can have more detailed and precise estimate of cost for specific activity or service. Choice of repeating a chest X-ray can be based on our findings, when cost is a limiting factor.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:40

AJOL African Journals Online