Private Hospitals surprised at Govt. move to fix rates for treatments

Private Hospitals surprised at Govt. move to fix rates for treatments

June 14, 2017

Bengaluru/Mysuru: A bill which empowers the State Government to fix rates for different types of treatment and bed charges in private hospitals and nursing homes was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017, piloted by Health and Family Welfare Minister K.R. Ramesh Kumar, may come up for discussion today.

The Bill provides for imposing a penalty of up to Rs. 5 lakh and imprisonment up to three years if hospitals/nursing homes collect charges higher than that fixed by the State Government. The person who runs the hospital will be held responsible for violations and minimum penalty has been fixed at Rs. 25,000 and imprisonment of not less than three months.

Private hospitals react

Reacting to this move on the part of the Government to fix rates for private hospitals, Apollo Hospital Vice President Healthcare Services, Karnataka, Bharateesh Reddy speaking to Star of Mysore from Bengaluru said, “Our first reaction is surprise. The government could have taken the private hospitals, the public and the other stakeholders into confidence first, before introducing such a legislation. However, we do welcome government’s proactive measure.”

There is lot of serious implications with this step of the government.

“Every year our hospital has to factor in 15 per cent increase as the salaries and other infrastructure costs go up. Besides, for instance, we introduced a hi-tech gastroentrology centre in Mysuru. It costs a lot   of money,” he said.

“People from Mysuru and surrounding areas had to go to Bengaluru and other parts but now they have the facility at their home town itself,” Bharateesh Reddy said and added, “we will have to think twice in the future if the conditions become harsh for us to invest.”

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He said that his hospital had NABH accreditation and very few hospitals in Mysuru have it. Here the protocols like informing the patients about all the details and the cost are always followed and these are the steps that the government needs to take first.

General Manager of Columbia Asia Hospital, Mysuru, Col. Rahul Tewari said, “There are various issues involved in healthcare and it is a complex task. The cost of treatment varies from hospital to hospital depending upon the infrastructure. If they fix a particular price, then it will not be sustainable thing. However, we are not looking to counter Government’s move but it needs to have a broader perspective.”

“We will have to think twice about running the hospital if we have to follow the amended rules being introduced by the government to fix rates for treating patients. First they should find out whether it is feasible for the private hospitals to run their establishments by fixing costs,” said Dr B.H. Manjunath of Brindavan Hospital.

“If the government can provide all the facilities to the patients then where is the necessity for private hospitals? As it is, we are also providing free treatment at times to poor patients,” said Syed, Administrator, Vatsalya Hospital.

“We have very modern equipment which government hospitals do not have. We also provide quality health care which costs money. We will think about what steps we need to take following the amendments,” said Senior Casualty Medical Officer, JSS Hosptials, Dr. S.K. Ghori.


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