Patient care: How much Government is spending?
COVID-19, News

Patient care: How much Government is spending?

April 30, 2020

Free treatment for virus-infected across the country

Mysore/Mysuru: Do you know how much the Karnataka Government or any other Government in India for that matter is spending to treat COVID-19 patients? Here is the break-up.

All the Coronavirus patients are treated free of cost in Government Hospitals across the country. In Mysuru, the patients are treated at the designated COVID-19 Hospital on KRS Road. No other private hospital has been authorised to treat virus-positive patients as of now.

What is the cost involved in treating a Coronavirus positive patient? Though it varies from patient to patient, depending upon the load of virus, related ailments, age and other factors, on an average, treatment of a normal virus carrier, without ventilators or other life-saving equipment, costs anywhere between Rs. 20,000 and 25,000 daily, doctors in the know of things told ‘Star of Mysore.’

Though the treatment figures have not been made public yet, sources say that a 14-day treatment of a patient costs between Rs. 2,80,000 and Rs. 3,50,000.
Mysuru reported its very first confirmed positive case on Mar. 21. The patient had a travel history from Dubai. The patient has been cured now.

Since Mar. 21, there has been a steady rise in the number of positive patients in Mysuru and till yesterday, the cumulative number has touched 90 and 65 patients have been discharged so far as they have been cured of the killer disease. There are 25 active cases who are still undergoing treatment at the Hospital.

If Rs. 3,50,000 is spent on each patient for 14 days, the State Government would have spent Rs. 2,27,50,000 (Rupees two crore, 27 lakh and 50,000) for 65 patients who have been discharged so far. So, the cumulative expenditure for 90 patients at the designated COVID-19 Hospital in Mysuru will touch Rs. 3,15,00,000 (Rupees three crore, 15 lakh).

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Usually, patients are discharged after three to five consecutive tests turn negative. In some cases, tests will go up to eight or ten to get a definite result, say doctors.

That’s not all, there is more to the expense chart. The swab test of a suspected patient costs Rs. 4,500. The price of the test kit alone is Rs. 3,000. If a person is tested or shows symptoms of COVID-19, he is supposed to travel only in an ambulance. Usually a hospital ambulance or a private one ferries him or her to the hospital at Government expense.

Once moved to the Isolation Ward, there are certain specifications for such patients: Each room should have a separate toilet and usually, no other beds are allowed and if the patient is aged or suffering from multiple complications, ventilator is necessary. Putting a patient in ventilator support is a costly affair and private hospitals charge between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 50,000 per day for a ventilator.

Plus there are room charges and the cheapest will cost between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,500 a day. All these expenses are borne by the Government. For a 100-bed hospital (Mysuru’s designated COVID-19 Hospital has a capacity of 300 beds) at least 200 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits are required to treat Coronavirus patients.

Doctors and nurses will have to change their kits every four hours and the PPE kits cannot be reused. If a doctor or a nurse are nursing a critically ill patient with a heavy load of virus, PPE kits have to be changed frequently. One standard PPE kits costs between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 2,500 and even in a conservative estimate, PPE kits used by doctors and nursing staff at Mysuru Hospital run into lakhs of rupees.

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Added to all these expenses are the cost of medicine. Though again the nature of medicine depends on the patient immunity and varies from person to person, antibiotics, anti-vitriol and other medicines cost between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 daily for a patient, besides his food.

ESTIMATED COST BREAK-UP

  • Treatment of a normal COVID-19 carrier per day: Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000
  • Money spent on each patient for 14 days: Rs. 3,50,000
  • Cost of treating 65 patients who have recovered in Mysuru so far: Rs. 2,27,50,000
  • Cost of treating total number of 90 patients in Mysuru: Rs. 3,15,00,000
  • Money spent on each swab test of suspected patient: Rs. 4,500
  • Cost of each test kit: Rs. 3,000
  • Cost of each PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) kit: Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500
  • Daily cost of antibiotics, anti-vitriol drugs: Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000
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