The Rajasthan government has revised the rates for treatment of Covid-19 in private hospitals across the state.
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said on Friday that private hospitals will have to treat Covid-19 patients according to these rates. Action will be taken against those not following these norms, said Sharma.
According to the minister, as per the new rates, on getting admitted to national accredited and non-accredited hospitals, fees charged from the patient will be up to Rs 5,000; up to Rs 7.500 for serious patients and up to Rs 9,000, including ICU charges, for critical patients. These rates include fees such as consultation charges, PPE kit, medicines, tubes, bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner and others.
According to a notification issued by the Health Department on September 3, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited hospitals can charge up to Rs 5,500, Rs 8,250 and Rs 9,900 per day for the above three categories of patients while non-NABL accredited hospitals can charge up to Rs 5,000, Rs 7,500 and Rs 9,000 per day for the same.
According to the notification, Rs 1,200 for the cost of PPE is included in all three packages. The notification also lists a number of medicines and tests which will be included in the package. While drugs such as HCQ, Lopinavir/Ritonavir and Doxycyclin have been included in the package, some medicines which are excluded are injections such as Remdesivir, Tociluzumab. The fees also will not cover plasma therapy.
Health Minister Sharma said the department had earlier fixed Covid-19 treatment rates in private hospitals, but it was not clear as to which investigations, medicines and expenses were included.
In order to end the confusion, the protocol for Covid-19 treatment and the maximum rates in private hospitals were decided again after discussions with Collectors of each district, principals of Government Medical Colleges, senior doctors and representatives of private hospitals, said the minister in the statement.
“The rates for treatment stated in the previous notification didn’t include several medicines. As a result people got admitted in private hospitals and later, the bill turned out to be much more after the hospitals charged medicines which were not included in the charges fixed by the government. In order to change this, the latest notification has been issued after we asked our technical core group to prescribe the minimum protocol for diagnostics and treatment. We have specified and fixed rates of medicines as per their rates and condition of the patient so that the public can’t be charged more,” Principal Secretary, Health, Akhil Arora told The Indian Express.
Minister Sharma added that soon, a system will be developed to track the number of available beds as well as the situation in private hospitals in the state so that no hospital sends away patients stating that all beds are full.
In June, the state government had fixed limits to the extent to which private laboratories and hospitals in the state can charge patients for Covid-19 tests along with treatment for the disease.
According to the then notification, a private hospital could not charge more than Rs 2,000 per day for a Covid-patient admitted in a general ward.
This price was inclusive of charges such as bed charges, meals, consultations charges, PPE kits and monitoring along with investigations such as CBC, urine routine, serum creatinine, chest X-ray, procedures like Ryle tube insertion, urinary tract catheterization and IV cannula, the notification had said.
The charges excluded from this price included investigations like HIV spot, anti HCV, Hbs Ag, LFT, USG, 2D ECHO, ECG, CT scan, MRI, PET scan, medicines, interventional procedures like but not limited to insertion, chemo port insertion, bronchoscopic procedures, biopsies, ascitic/pleural tapping etc along with charges for individual rooms/isolations.
Similarly, for ICU with ventilator, the maximum charge per bed was fixed at Rs 4,000. This notification was superseded by the latest one.