Prices for Covid-19 treatment at private hospitals in Delhi may be capped
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said that the government is yet to take a decision on whether the prices for treatment of Covid-19 in private hospitals need to be capped.
Prices for treatment of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in private hospitals across Delhi might be capped, with the matter set to come up for discussion in the next meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Tuesday, as per the agenda of the meeting.
“Fixing price ceiling for treatment by private hospitals as some of them are charging exorbitant price and seeking huge advances,” read the agenda of the meeting. The DDMA will also discuss fixing ceiling for charges of private ambulance services.
There are 97 private hospitals in the city treating Covid-19 patients as on Saturday, according to the Delhi Corona app. The government had ordered 117 hospitals across the city with 50 beds or more to reserve 20% of their bed strength for the treatment of Covid-19. This has gone up to 80 or 100% beds in some of the hospitals like Moolchand, Fortis Vasant Kunj, and Sir Ganga Ram since.
Saroj hospital in north Delhi had come into limelight after an internal communication of charging minimum ₹3 lakhs for each Covid-19 patient went viral on social media. “It has been brought to our notice that an outdated circular is being distributed on social media about the charges of Covid-19 treatment at Saroj Superspeciality hospital. We categorically deny having approved or having billed any Covid-19 patients as per the charges mentioned in the said circular,” the hospital had said.
The health minister on Saturday said that the government is yet to take a decision on whether the prices for treatment of Covid-19 in private hospitals need to be capped. The government in an order on June 4 had asked private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients to provide a list of prices of the wards and isolation, ventilator support, PPE kits, central line insertion, biopsy, Covid testing, CT scan, MRI, etc.
“All the hospitals have been asked to share the rates that they are charging for COVID treatments. We will decide on what to do after observing rates of every hospital,” said Jain on Saturday. The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to give directions on a plea to prevent overcharging by private hospitals and refusal of treatment due to lack of funds.