Karnataka will fix uniform rate structure for coronavirus treatment, a minister said (Representational)
Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on Monday said private hospitals will be roped in to treat COVID-19 patients in the state and rates will be fixed for everything, including testing and treatment.
"...the private hospitals that will treat COVID-19 patients...for them rates will be fixed, it will be uniform across the state. Maybe there will be some variation for Bengaluru, but for the entire state, a uniform rate structure will be fixed," Mr Sudhakar said.
Speaking to reporters, he said private nursing homes and corporate hospitals, especially those that have a large number of beds, will have to set up isolation wards and come forward to treat coronavirus patients in the days to come.
"Efforts are on in this direction and instructions will sson be issued in this regard by the government. The government alone cannot provide treatment. Private and government sectors both will have to join hands and make efforts to control coronavirus," he added.
K Sudhakar was speaking after attending the meeting of senior ministers and officials, chaired by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, to discuss the increasing COVID-19 cases in the state and in Bengaluru.
Stressing that rates will be fixed for everything, from testing to treatment, he said the government will not allow anyone to indulge in "extortion" at this time of crisis and would take "merciless action" against such people.
"At the meeting today, it was decided that private hospitals should also provide treatment. So we will discuss with the central government and ICMR, we will see what rates to be fixed, also regarding getting grants for this under Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka scheme, because private hospitals won't treat the poor for free, and government will have to pitch in to bare cost," he added.
"Our health is in our hands. If we don't safeguard our health, can the government keep watch on every individual?" he asked in response to a question about incidences of not following guidelines and adhering to social distancing norms.
K Sudhakar also requested the media to exercise restraint while telecasting news relating to coronavirus and see it doesn't lead to fear mongering among people.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)