Karnataka propose Rs.5, 200 minimum cap for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals

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With beds in state-run hospitals being filled fast, the Karnataka government is now planning to involve private hospitals in the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state.  

According to media reports, the he Department of Health and Family Welfare in Karnataka has already held four rounds of talks with the Karnataka Private Medical Practitioners’ Association to finalise the modalities, including cost of the treatment.

The COVID-19 Task Force, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has suggested to cap the cost per day for treating each patient with COVID-19 in private hospitals.

As per the decision of the task force, the charge for general ward in private hospitals will be Rs.5, 200 per day. Charges will be Rs.7500 per day if there is a need for oxygen support. For an isolation ward, the cost fixed is Rs.8, 500 per day while it would be Rs.12, 000 per day for an intensive care unit with a ventilator support, according to Bangalore Mirror.

The task force has not given a break up of total cost per day including medicines. However, Health Department officials said that the representatives of the private medical establishments want four times more the cost the task force has suggested.

“The Ministers in the COVID-19 task force wanted to go the Maharashtra way, implement the Disaster Management Act and take over the private hospitals and convert them into COVID-19 health care centres. However, this is not going to be beneficial, especially for the private hospitals and the staff working there,” a member of the expert committee for COVID-19 was quoted by the News Minute as saying.

Health Department sources said that the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Jawaid Akthar has been holding talks with representatives of private hospitals in a bid to arrive at a mutually beneficial price cap.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has directed Deputy Commissioners of all the districts to begin works to ramp up the primary health centres and the taluk-level hospitals as a back-up measure, in order to ensure that even those who do not have COVID-19 can avail tertiary-level care at government hospitals.

Image Credit: The Hindu

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