Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday informed that the government has issued orders, capping the charges for the treatment of Covid patients who directly go to private hospitals in the State.
Addressing a press conference here this evening, the CM said: “Covid treatment is already free for the beneficiaries of Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhati (KASP) and for those referred from government hospitals at private hospitals empanelled by the State Health Agency.”
“The tariff announced today will be applicable for the Covid patients who reach the private hospitals directly. This was necessitated because of the large number of complaints of overcharging and exorbitant billing by such hospitals and the subsequent intervention by the high court. The rates were finalised after discussions with private hospitals,” he said.
There are two slabs of rates fixed for NABH accredited hospitals and non-accredited hospitals. These rates include Registration Charge, Bed Charges, Nursing and Boarding Charges, Surgeons, Anaesthetists, Medical Practitioner, Consultant Charges, Anesthesia, Blood Transfusion, Oxygen, medicines, essential tests, X-ray, USG, haematology, pathology, and pre and post-hospitalization costs.
High-end tests such as CT Chest / HRCT Chest, as well as expensive drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, and the PPE kits are excluded from the daily rate. There is a strict provision that these cannot be charged in excess of the MRP. PPE. Kit, pulse oximeter, masks and portable oxygen cylinders should not be overcharged.
The rates charged by the hospitals must be displayed within the hospital and on their own website, as per the Clinical Establishment Act.
If any hospital is found to be charging more than the prescribed rate, the District Medical Officer will penalise them with ten times the fine as per the Clinical Establishment Act.
In addition, District Collectors will take further action under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Kerala Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2021.
Patients arriving for Covid treatment must be admitted immediately by all private hospitals in strict compliance with admission protocols. No advance payment of medical fees (deposit) should be taken at the time of admission.