Amid reports of private hospitals charging high rates for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, the Andhra Pradesh government passed an order on April 25, capping the rate for a CT/HRCT scan (computerised tomography/high-resolution computed tomography) at a maximum of Rs 3,000. This includes consumables used like PPE, mask etc. According to the state health departmentâ€™s government order prescribing the rate, a report of the Andhra Pradesh state expert committee on clinical management of COVID-19 found that exorbitant charges were being levied for CT scans, resulting in â€średuced accessibility and affordability, leading to missing an opportunity to identify the disease early and also to grade the severity which has an impact on clinical management.â€ť
"No hospital or diagnostic centre can charge more than Rs 3,000 for a CT/HRCT scan", the order passed on April 25 said. The order further added that amid the current second wave of COVID-19, if this important diagnostic test was not affordable to the general public, it could also result in the further spread of the virus, burdening the health infrastructure. Hospitals and diagnostic centres providing CT scans to diagnose COVID-19 have been directed to register on the state governmentâ€™s COVID-19 web portal and upload details of each scan performed, which will be available to hospitals so they can admit patients based on the scan image and report.
Earlier on April 16, the state government had issued orders capping the maximum price of various brands of Remdesivir at Rs 2,500 per vial. Grievances related to hospitals charging higher rates could be reported on the 1902 helpline number.
As of April 24, Andhra Pradesh had recorded 81,471 active COVID-19 cases. In the 24-hour period ending at 9 am on April 24, 11,698 persons tested positive out of 50,972 samples tested for the coronavirus. Thirty-seven more deaths from COVID-19 were recorded, taking the total death toll in the state to 7,616.