Representative photo: PTI
NEW DELHI: In a major relief to the common man in Delhi, a Central government committee set up on the direction of home minister Amit Shah has recommended a drastic reduction in rates to be charged by private hospitals for 60% of their Covid-19 isolation beds and ICU beds both with and without ventilator support.
Covid-19 patients needing hospitalisation will now have the option of either going to Delhi government hospitals, private hospitals offering 60% of their Covid beds at lower rates fixed by the Central government panel or opt for 40% of the beds in private hospitals at usual rates charged by the latter.
The committee headed by NITI member V K Paul has recommended that 60% of the Covid-19 isolation bed in private hospitals be offered at a rate of Rs 8,000-10,000 instead of the current rate of Rs 24,000-25,000; ICU beds without ventilator at Rs 13,000-15,000, down from Rs 34,000-43,000; and ICU beds with ventilator support at Rs 15,000-18,000, down from the prevalent rate of Rs 44,000-54,000. While the new rates fixed by the panel are inclusive of cost of PPE, the current rates as mentioned above are excluding the PPE cost.
Only two days back, the same committee had cut the rate of RT-PCR test in Delhi for Covid-19 to Rs 2,400 from Rs 4,500.
Home minister Amit Shah had on Thursday asked the NCR regions to follow the same measures as Delhi, including common rates for testing and treatment at private hospitals, so as to ensure a unified approach for Delhi-NCR region in the battle against Covid-19.
The range in the hospital bed rates recommended by the V K Paul committee, a source explained, is linked to accreditation with the National Accreditation Board of Hospitals.
The home ministry on Thursday said sample testing has been doubled in Delhi, in line with a decision taken at a meeting chaired by Shah on June 14 to improve the Covid-19 response in Delhi.
A total 27,263 testing samples were collected across the national Capital between June 15 and 17, against the daily collection of 4,000-4,500 samples earlier.
To enhance the Covid-19 testing capacity in Delhi and expedite the delivery of results, testing via rapid antigen methodology was started on Thursday. As many as 7,040 persons have been tested across 193 testing centres. Testing will continue with increased numbers in the coming days, said the home ministry.
As per another decision cleared at the meeting chaired by Shah on Sunday, house-to-house survey in 242 containment zones of Delhi was completed on Thursday. A total 2.3 lakh people were surveyed.