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Home / India News / Goa govt’s flip-flop as it abruptly withdraws move to bring Covid-19 under its insurance scheme

Goa govt’s flip-flop as it abruptly withdraws move to bring Covid-19 under its insurance scheme

Private hospitals have said that the rates being offered by the scheme were ‘impractical’.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2020, 20:09 IST
Gerard de Souza | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
Gerard de Souza | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
Hindustan Times, Panaji
File photo: Goa CM Pramod Sawant.
File photo: Goa CM Pramod Sawant. (ANI)

The Goa government has withdrawn its decision to bring Covid-19 treatment under its universal mediclaim scheme, the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana, allegedly under pressure from private hospitals who have said that the rates being offered by the scheme were ‘impractical’.

“After deliberation with chief minister Pramod Sawant, we have decided to cancel the notification issued to cover Covid-19 treatment under DDSSY. A fresh notification will be issued in consultation with the CM,” state health minister Vishwajit Rane announced.

The Goa government had notified rates for mild Covid-19 cases at Rs 4,600 per day with provision of Rs 64,400 for a 14-day package and critical ones at Rs 6,600 per day with Rs 92,400 set for a 14-day package.

Private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients would be reimbursed as per the notified rates under the scheme, the notification stated.

However, private hospitals - four private hospitals in the state are admitting Covid-19 patients - have said that they were not consulted over the decision to bring it under the ambit of the existing health insurance scheme and continue to be excluded from the government’s decision-making process. The rates, they said, were not sustainable.

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“We should have been consulted before any such decision was taken. They need to understand that with Covid-19 it is difficult to estimate what is the line of treatment that will be needed and with the rates that were notified, it was just not possible. We have to give the best treatment,” Dr Shekhar Salkar, head of clinical management at Manipal Hospitals, said.

The rates notified by the government were also much lower than the cap set for private hospitals treating those affected by complications arising out of Covid-19.

According to the rate, a private hospital can charge up to Rs 24,000 per day for an Intensive Care Unit bed while a bed in a Covid ward can be charged at Rs 10,000 per day down from Rs 12,000-13,000 per day with a twin sharing room. Charges for a bed in a single room are around Rs 15,000-16,000 per day, down from Rs 18,000.

Rane said that an earlier notification was first drafted in February and the rates weren’t revised.

However, the flip-flop by the government was latched on by the Opposition parties who accused the government of attempting to monetise the pandemic.

“The decision to cancel the notification covering Covid treatment under Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana (DDSSY) in private hospitals by the BJP government is a clear reflection of its pro-rich and anti-poor agenda,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar said.

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