The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Saturday increased the cap on charges for private hospitals designated as Covid-19 hospitals to be reimbursed by the state government by 150 per cent, after several private hospitals rejected a common slab for all the hospitals citing “non-parity in services”.
The Indian Express had reported that despite assurances from the state government, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing homes Association (AHNA) had declined to sign the MoU for requisitioning of its member hospitals as COVID-19 hospitals. The private hospitals had said that charges were fixed by the state government, through a GR issued on April 16, keeping in mind the district hospitals and not the bigger cities like Ahmedabad.
In an order issued by the Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment Rajiv Kumar Gupta on Saturday, he said, “The Government Resolution issued on April 16 was meant for the entire state of Gujarat however considering the mega city of Ahmedabad it was felt that the rates should be different.”
The AMC has also fixed a ceiling on the charges by private hospitals for treating Covid-19 patients and others.
Also, 42 private hospitals which were designated as Covid-19 hospitals should provide 50 per cent of its beds for patients be referred by the AMC.
As per AMC, this has created an inventory of 30,000 beds for Covid-19 patients.
Reacting to the order, AHNA president Dr Bharat Gadhavi said, “The rates are okay. Still there are a lot of grey areas for which we will seek clarification. For instance, what of the patient wants to pay more than prescribed by the AMC. Also, authorities are considering number of beds for private hospitals but the intake of patients depends upon the number of staff and not beds.”
“It has been decided that all the private hospitals designated as Covid-19 hospitals shall provide 50 per cent of the total beds in such hospitals for patients to be referred by AMC and rest 50 per cent shall be admitted and treated privately on their own,” Gupta’s order said.
“While reviewing the situation in Ahmedabad, an urgent need is perceived for more number of beds… To that end private health care facilities are required to actively participate in this battle against Covid-19,” the order said.
Further it also cites the Gujarat High Court order directing private hospitals in Ahmedabad to stop the practice of levying excessive charges and directed the state authorities to immediately take up this issue and resolve it.
An order declared by Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar said that “no private hospital within the AMC limit whether designated or not as COVID-19 hospital is permitted to charge above the ceiling rates prescribed by the civic body”.
The municipal commissioner’s order states “The staff will be at disposal of the AMC administration of the concerned area for discharging the duty of containment measures. Any person, institution or organisation found violating any provision of the regulations will be deemed to have committed punishable offence under section 188 of the IPC.”
Further, nurses will continue to discharge their duties at the same hospital as before and no change in work place is allowed without prior permission from AMC.
“This is passed in view of the prevailing practices by some of the bigger hospitals where they were poaching staff of smaller hospitals,” said a senior health official.
The order issued by Mukesh Kumar has a list of 42 Covid-19 hospitals. Some of them like Sterling Hospital Bodakdev, HCG Hospital Mithakali, Narayani Hospital Rakhiyal, Shalby Hospital Naroda and Shalby Navrangpura, Tapan Hospital Satellite, SMS Hospital Chandkheda are already taking patients, but as per their rates.
Others include both private as well as trust-run hospitals like Sal Hospital Thaltej, Apollo CVHF, Bodakdev, Medilink Hospital Shyamal, SGVP hospital Vaishnodevi Circle, Rajasthan hospital in Shahibaug.
The rates per day for government beds do not include cost of medicine Tocilizumab and dialysis. The rate of one dialysis is Rs 1,650.
The ceiling rates per day for private beds do not include cost of medicine Tocilizumab, special doctors’ visiting fee and specialesed lab test and dialysis. The rates cover two meals, breakfast and evening tea with snacks.
There should be no difference in the quality of treatment being meted out to either of the category of patients, the AMC order said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines