Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Jun 10: District in-charge minister Kota Srinivas Poojary said that private hospitals have to collect Covid19 treatment charges only as per the amounts already fixed by the state government. He asked the officials to ensure that the hospitals reimburse the amount recovered in excess already, if any.
He was speaking at a meeting held here on Wednesday June 9 to sort out the problem of Covid19 billing by private hospitals. He said that the government has fixed charges for Covid testing and treatment and that the patients are liable to pay only those amounts. He asked the people to thoroughly check details of the charges at the time of discharge and confirm the same forthwith.
The meeting was held at the auditorium if the office of the district deputy commissioner here. The minister told the officials that there are complaints from the people about private hospitals collecting excessive charges at the time of discharge, which is much more than what is fixed by the government. He advised the nodal officials in charge of private hospitals to take up the responsibility of ensuring that exorbitant charges are not collected by them.
"We have deployed nodal officers to each of the hospitals in order to make sure that patients get good quality treatment and facilities in private hospitals in the district. The nodal officials should ensure that the infected people do not face any problems. It is observed that some of these officials have been showing lethargy in discharging their responsibilities. In such cases, show cause notices should be served on them," he advised.
The minister also said that the private hospitals cannot demand advance money from the patients coming to them for Covid treatment. He warned that the private hospitals have to set aside 50 percent beds for accommodating patients recommended by the public health officials. In case of violation, steps under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act will be initiated, he warned.
Poojary said that Covid treatment package rates have been arrived at on the basis of the workforce committee report of the government. For CT scan, Rs 1,500 from BPL card holders, and Rs 2,500 from others can be collected. For X-ray, Rs 250 can be levied, he said. He also explained that Covid patients holding Ayushman cards and referred by public health officials have to be charged Rs 5,200 per day for general ward, Rs 7,000 for HDU, Rs 8,500 per day for ICU without ventilator, and Rs 10,000 for ICU with ventilator. He said that charges for PPE and other consumables can be charged on the basis of actuals.
Deputy commissioner of the district, Dr Rajendra K V, said that the district administration has formed audit teams for checking hospital bills. The team will furnish a report to the district administration. He said that so far, 896 bills of Covid patients from 11 hospitals have been verified. He advised the patients who find that the hospitals have charged them excessively, to immediately take up the issue with the prescribed nodal officials or the committee of district health and family welfare officials. He asked nodal officials to provide the patients information about the treatment and other expenses if they directly approach private hospitals so that future confusions and disputes can be avoided.
MLA Dr Bharath Shetty asked the district administration to see that treatment charges are collected as per norms as the government gets a bad name if the hospitals levy exorbitant charges.
Zilla panchayat chief executive officer Dr Kumar, additional deputy commissioner Dr Prajna Ammembal, district health and family officer Dr Kishore and other district level officials were present.