IMA recommends standard tariff for treating COVID-19 patients in Tamil Nadu

South India

Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijay Bhaskar had, on Saturday, warned private hospitals against fleecing patients who have been tested positive for the virus.

Following government warning against private hospitals fleecing COVID-19 patients, the Tamil Nadu chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended standard tariff that private hospitals can charge for treating patients under different categories.

The tariff submitted to health secretary Beela Rajesh has recommended Rs.23, 000 per day for treating mild and moderate cases and Rs.25, 353 per day for severe cases, according to a News Minute report.

The tariff chart sent to the government gives an item-wise breakup of the costing involved in recommending these rates to the government. The charges quoted by the IMA, according to the annexure to its letter, include hospital charges including accommodation, equipment and administrative charges, pharmacy, consumables and investigation charges.

These quoted charges do not include the quarantine charges of the doctors and staff and their food expenses, which would amount to Rs.9, 600 per day, as per the letter from the IMA. The IMA has also requested a personal meeting with the health secretary to discuss this costing.

These recommendations come a few days after Health Minister C Vijay Bhaskar said that the state government would fix a cap on the rates charged by private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients in the state. A report in Times of India said that the government was contemplating Rs.7, 500 for treating patients by private hospitals in general wards, Rs.15, 000 per day for ICU care and Rs.22, 500 per day in in cases where life-saving equipment like a ventilator is used. An official notification is yet to be issued in this regard.

The Health Minister had warned the hospitals against charging exorbitant fees from patients following media reports that they were fleecing the patients.  In the wake of these allegations, the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) had approached the high court to rein in the private hospitals.

However, the high court on Wednesday dismissed the plea based on a media report, observing that it cannot conduct a rowing inquiry and go by news reports. First bench comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asked the petitioner to come up with specific instances and not general allegations.

The bench said that it will take notice if any such patient who has been allegedly charged exorbitantly by private hospitals comes forward with a petition (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: New Indian Express


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