SC admits plea seeking cap on fees to be charged for COVID-19 patients
New Delhi, June 05: The Supreme Court has sought a reply from the Centre on a plea that sought a cap on the fees to be charged by private hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients.
The petitioner Avishek Goenka told the court that the private hospitals are charging huge amounts from COVID-19 pattens and this has made it inaccessible for most patients.
It may be recalled that the Centre in an affidavit had said that it had no statutory power to direct private and charitable hospitals to give free treatment to COVID-19 patients.
There is no provision under the Clinical Establishments Act 2010, whereby it is mandated that private hospitals running on public land shall treat COVID-19 patients on a free basis. Such policies may be defined and implemented by the respective state governments.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has included treatment of persons affected with coronavirus in private hospitals under the Chief Minister's Health Insurance Scheme.
The package for the treatment has also been fixed by the government. This move comes in the wake of the cases in State breaching the 27,000-mark.
Till now, TN has been providing treatment free of cost in government hospitals across the State. Now, those families who are enrolled under the CM's Health Insurance Scheme can avail the treatment.
Empanelled hospitals can charge up to Rs 5,000 for a single day's treatment in the General Ward for asymptotic patients and those showing mild symptoms. In case of ICU with all facilities, daily rates have been capped at Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for Grade A1 and A2 hospitals while in the case of A3 and A4 hospitals it is Rs 9,000 to Rs 13,000, a statement from the government said.
A minimum of 25 per cent of the beds in registered private hospitals must be allocated for COVID-19 patients who are covered under the CM's Health Insurance Scheme. The beneficiaries of this scheme need not make any payments in cash and action would be initiated against the hospitals which charge more than the amount stipulated, the government also said.