The Tamil Nadu branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended that the private hospitals in Tamil Nadu can charge Rs 2.31 lakh for 10 days for treating patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 patients and Rs 4.31 lakh for 17 days to treat COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. This comes up to Rs 23,000 per day for mild and moderate cases and Rs 25,353 per day for severe cases.
These recommendations come a few days after the state government assured that a cap would be fixed on the rates charged by private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients in Tamil Nadu.
A letter sent by the IMAâ€™s TN branch to the state Health Secretary Beela Rajesh gives an item-wise breakup of the costing involved in recommending these rates to the government. The charges quoted by the IMA, according to the annexure to its letter, include hospital charges including accommodation, equipment and administrative charges, pharmacy, consumables and investigation charges. These quoted charges do not include the quarantine charges of the doctors and staff and their food expenses, which would amount to Rs 9,600 per day, as per the letter from the IMA. The IMA has also requested a personal meeting with the Health Secretary to discuss this costing.
Meanwhile, a report in the Times of India stated that the government of Tamil Nadu is contemplating fixing the per-day charges for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals at Rs 7500 in general wards, Rs 15,000 per day for ICU care and Rs 22,500 per day in cases where life-saving equipment like a ventilator is used. An official notification is yet to be issued in this regard.
The government of Tamil Nadu had announced that it will fix the rates chargeable by the private hospitals in the state after multiple instances of fleecing of COVID-19 patients by these hospitals was brought to the governmentâ€™s attention. State health minister C Vijayabaskar had, on Saturday, warned private hospitals from imposing exorbitant charges on the families of COVID-19 patients. He and the health secretary had also conducted a meeting with private hospitals in the state on May 30.