Private Hospitals can treat COVID-19 patients: Govt.
COVID-19, News

Private Hospitals can treat COVID-19 patients: Govt.

June 19, 2020

Task Force halves cost of testing in Private Hospitals for people referred by Government Hospitals

Bengaluru: Karnataka will rope in Private Hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. “Only Government Hospitals were being utilised to treat patients till now and going forward Private Hospitals will also be utilised to treat patients,” said Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar.

He warned that strict action would be initiated against Private Hospitals that refuse to admit Coronavirus patients. Karnataka is one of the few States in the country that has so far treated all COVID patients in its own State-run facilities and allowed private participation only for observation of suspected people or for keeping them in isolation.

The decision to include private medical establishments in COVID-19 treatment comes as the State witnessed a surge in positive cases, especially at its capital Bengaluru. The more worrying part is that the number of people, without inter-State travel history, testing positive indicates a spread of the virus in the community.

Cost of testing

Yesterday, the COVID-19 Task Force decided to halve the cost of testing in Private Hospitals for people referred by Government Hospitals. It has also put a cap on the room rent and treatment cost of the patients referred by any Government Hospital.

A decision in this regard was taken at the Task Force meeting headed by Health Minister B. Sriramulu yesterday. As per the decision, the cost of COVID-19 test in a Private Hospital will be Rs. 2,600 for people referred by a Government Hospital while it would be Rs. 4,500 if one goes directly.

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As per the decision of the Task Force, a Government Hospital-referred patient will be charged Rs. 5,200 per day if admitted to the general ward. Charges will be Rs. 7,500 per day if there is a need for oxygen support. For an isolation ward, the cost is fixed at Rs. 8,500 per day while it would be Rs. 12,000 per day for an ICU with a ventilator.

The Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) had proposed to treat BPL patients for a price of Rs. 5,200-Rs. 10,000 a day depending on the severity of the case. For other patients covered under private health insurance scheme or those paying from their pockets, the hospitalisation cost per day varies from Rs. 15,000-Rs. 33,000 depending on the nature of treatment required, as per the indicative prices suggested by the Association of Healthcare Providers-India (AHPI) and PHANA.

All Private Hospitals have been told to reserve 50 percent of their beds for treating COVID patients. Besides that, they have been advised to follow treatment protocols as per Central Government guidelines.

ILI and SARI cases

The Task Force has also directed Private Hospitals to continue treatment of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients even after they test positive for COVID-19 if the facilities are equipped to handle it.

The Government has further directed the Private Hospitals to notify the Health Department about all SARI and ILI cases they are treating. The Hospitals must notify the health authorities about the cases they continue to treat after they are found positive for COVID-19.

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