MHA committee recommends reduction of Covid treatment costs in pvt hospitals

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Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: June 19, 2020 2:28:09 pm

Covid treatment rates, Centre reduces Covid treatment rates, Covid treatment rates in orivate hospitals, The committee has also said that these rates will include PPE costs. Earlier, hospitals charged extra for PPE kits.

A high-level committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recommended rates for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals to be reduced by close to two third of existing rates. The committee, led by Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul, has fixed the rate for isolation beds and ICU beds with and without ventilators at almost 30% of the existing rates in private hospitals.

From Rs 24,000-25,000 for isolation beds, the rates have been reduced to Rs 8,000-10,000. For ICU beds without ventilator, the rates have been reduced from Rs 34,000-43,000 to Rs 13,000-15,000. ICU beds with ventilators, which earlier cost Rs 44,000-54,000 a bed a day, have been recommended to be charged at Rs 15,000-18,000 a bed a day.

The committee has also said that these rates will include PPE costs. Earlier, hospitals charged extra for PPE kits.

Sources said the report has been forwarded to the Delhi government for further action. The Delhi government is likely to take private hospitals into confidence before issuing an order.

In the backdrop of Home Minister Amit Shah holding a meeting with chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana and UP, where he pushed for a unified strategy for Covid-19 containment and treatment in the Delhi-NCR region, it is expected that authorities in Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad would also be nudged to follow suit on the new treatment rates. The MHA has already asked them to work towards implementing the testing rates earlier fixed by the Centre for Delhi.

The recommendations follow a Sunday meeting that Home Minister Amit Shah held with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Guv Anil Baijal on the COVID situation in Delhi. During the meeting it had been decided that rates for both testing and treatment would be reduced based on recommendations of the VK Paul Committee. The government has already reduced testing rates to Rs 2,400 from the earlier Rs 4,500 based on the committee recommendations. It is also pushing for Rapid Antigen tests that cost just Rs 450 and give a result within half an hour.

Covid treatment rates, Centre reduces Covid treatment rates, Covid treatment rates in orivate hospitals, MHA, India coronavirus, India news, Indian express Medical Department hold a special checking by taking samples o road side vendors and shop keepers at Bhoonath Market in Lucknow o Thursday. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

“To provide relief to the common man in Delhi, HM Amit Shah constituted a committee under Member of Niti Aayog to fix rates charged by provate hospitals in Delhi for isolation beds, ICUs without ventilator support & ICUs with ventilator support. Committee has recommended Rs 8000-10000, 13000-15000 & 15000-18000 including PPE costs for isolation bed, ICUs without & with ventilator respectively to all hospitals as compared to the current charges of Rs 24000-25000, 34000-43000 & 44000-54000 (excluding PPE cost), ” the MHA said in a statement.

According to MHA, a good progress has already been made in the rapid Antigen tests ushered in by the Delhi government following approval from ICMR. It said as on today, 7,040 people have been tested in 193 testing Centres. Testing will continue with increased numbers in coming days, it added.

It also said that as many as 2.3 lakh people have been surveyed for COVID-19 symptoms in Delhi’s 242 containment zones.

MoS Home G Kishan Reddy, who had surveyed testing Centres on Thursday, had said that the government had plans to test six lakh people through the rapid Antigen testing methodology and the capacity could be increased further if needed. He said the government had distributed 50,000 kits for the purpose.

Spelling out the steps taken by MHA in this direction, Reddy said, “In containment zones, all the people, whether symptomatic or not, will be tested for free. The Centre will fund the expenses. Delhi currently has 431 ventilators. The Centre has decided to provide 500 additional ventilators. Similarly, the current ambulance strength of 350 will be increased to 1,000. The Centre has till now given Rs 277 crore to the Delhi government for equipment to fight covid 19. As many as 7.32 lakh N 95 masks, 4.41 lakh PPE kits and 25 lakh HCQ tablets have also been given.”

At the Sunday meeting chaired by Shah and attended by Kejriwal and Lt Gov Anil Baijal, some key decisions were taken. These include immediate provision of 500 converted rail coaches to the Delhi Government, adding 8,000 beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients, house-to-house health survey for Contact Mapping in Containment Zones and doubling of COVID-19 testing within the next two days and trebling the testing capacity in six days. A proposal to ensure that private hospitals provide 60 per cent of their Covid beds at low rates was also discussed.

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