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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Covid-19: Karnataka caps CT scan, X-ray prices

The state government has decided to cap the price of CT scan and digital X-ray in private hospitals and labs at Rs 1,500 (for BPL cardholders) and Rs 2,500 respectively.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 8, 2021 6:06:20 pm
Karnataka, X-rayA doctor checks an X-ray of a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inside a COVID-19 ward of a hospital in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)

The Karnataka government Friday decided to cap rates of CT scan and digital X-ray in private hospitals in the state, as the demand for the same in diagnosing Covid-19 has been on the rise in the recent days.

“Since CT-Scan or X-Ray is becoming increasingly necessary to detect Covid-19 infection, Government has decided to cap the price of CT-Scan and Digital X-Ray in private hospitals and labs at ₹1,500 and ₹250 respectively (sic),” Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar tweeted.

A few hours later, the government issued an official order validating the same. “In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, majority of the patients are undergoing High-Resolution CT and Digital X-ray as a diagnostic tool. Some of the laboratories are charging exorbitant amounts for these tests, putting (an) unreasonable financial burden on the COVID-19 patients,” the order issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), Jawaid Akhtar read.

However, another order was issued on Saturday clarifying that the revised price for CT Scan (Rs 1,500) would stay applicable only for BPL cardholders while the price for others would be capped at Rs 2,500.

“They (The Association of Diagnostic Centres, Bengaluru) have submitted that the price limit fixed by the government is not viable and requested to reconsider the price cap and fix a reasonable price between ₹3500-4500 per scan,” Akhtar clarified in the revised order.

The order also clarified that the charges were inclusive of consumables, sanitisation, etc. for patients across age groups.

Meanwhile, the state government had recently approved revised package rates to be charged by private hospitals admitting Covid-19 patients based on referrals made by public health authorities.

As per an order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, a patient getting treated in a general ward can be charged Rs 5,200 per day, while the same for a bed with HDU (high-dependency unit) is fixed at Rs 8,000 daily. The charges for an isolation ICU are fixed at Rs 9,750 per day without ventilator and Rs 11,500 daily with ventilator.

At the same time, Karnataka’s active caseload exceeded five lakh with 49,058 new COVID-19 infections identified on Thursday. As many as 328 more deaths in the last few days were linked to the pandemic as the cumulative toll rose to 17,212. Bengaluru Urban alone accounted for 23,706 fresh cases and 139 fatalities of these. The Karnataka capital has cumulatively reported 8,87,086 infections and 7,145 deaths since March 2020.

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