Taking notice of overcharging being made by some private hospitals and labs for the treatment and test of COVID-19, the Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh today instructed the Civil Surgeons to ensure all such services to be availed as per capped rates decided by the Punjab Government. If anyone found violating the instructions, immediate action would be taken against the management under the Epidemic Disease Act.
Giving details here, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that services of test and treatment were being provided free of cost at all government health facilities so that all the needy people get the quality services without any financial burden. Similarly, to check profiteering by private hospitals there was also dire need to fix the rates of private health establishments during the current pandemic. That’s why, Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has fixed their COVID treatment rates in July.
It has been brought to his notice that even now, some private hospitals have been charging exorbitantly from families of patients adding that he appeals the managements of private hospitals to serve humanity for the sake of safe future of our country during this tough time and to stop over charging for the treatment as families of patients were already passing through trauma, financial shock and discrimination associated with the disease.
Divulging about fixed rates of treatment, the Minister said that for Moderate Sickness requiring Isolation Beds, including supportive care and oxygen, the rates per day of admission are fixed at: Rs 10,000 for all Private Medical Colleges / NABH Private Hospitals with teaching programme from NBE, Rs 9000 for NABH accredited Hospitals (Including Private Medical Colleges without PG/DNB Course) and Rs. 8000 for Non- NABH accredited Hospitals.
The rates across these categories of hospitals for Severe Sickness (ICU without need for ventilator) have been capped, respectively, at Rs. 15000, Rs. 14000 and Rs 13000, while for Very Severe or Critical patients, these are fixed at Rs 18000, Rs, 16500 and Rs 15000 respectively. All these rates are inclusive of PPE cost.
In order to encourage private hospitals to cater to Mild Sickness cases also, the Punjab Government has also fixed per day admission rates for such cases at: Rs 6500, Rs 5500 and Rs 4500 respectively.
Mr. Sidhu said that to bring more transparency in the private labs, the Punjab Government has also capped the cost of testing maximum Rs. 2400 for RT-PCR inclusive of GST/Taxes, it also includes any cost involved in home collection of samples. For antigen testing at private labs the cost has been capped at maximum Rs. 1000 including GST/Taxes and any cost involved in home collection of samples.
The Minister said that for getting tested no prescription from a doctor is required in government hospitals and those testing positive and are asymptomatic or mild symptomatic need not be admitted to hospitals and can opt for home isolation, if they have facilities.
Mr. Sidhu said that testing is available free of cost at all Government Health Facilities. The list of approx. 600 Government (All District Hospitals, Sub Divisional Hospitals & Community Health Centers) and 52 ICMR approved private testing centers are available at the website of health department. Some private labs provide facilities for home collection of samples.
He said that instructions have been issued to all Deputy Commissioners to take strict action, if any hospital and private lab are found violating the orders.