Private hospitals shall charge no more than Rs 18,000 per day for intensive care unit beds with ventilator support while treating COVID-19 patients, the Delhi government ordered on Saturday as it capped the rates of ICU and isolation beds. It also directed that the controlled rates will be applicable to 60 per cent of the total private beds in the national capital.
"The Delhi Disaster Management Authority accepted the recommendations of the committee, under Dr VK Paul, member, NITI Aayog, for fixing rates for COVID-related treatment to be charged by private hospitals in NCT of Delhi, with the proviso that all COVID beds would be at the rates given by the Committee subject to upper limit of 60% of the beds of total hospital bed capacity," it said in a release.
While the hospitals will not be able to charge more than Rs 8,000-10,000 for an isolation bed, 15,000 is the upper limit for ICU beds without ventilators. Rs 15,000-Rs 18,000 can charged for ICU beds with invasive or non-invasive ventilator support.
"The rates for private hospitals beds would be all inclusive as a package. This will include, but not limited to: bed, food and other amenities, monitoring, nursing care, doctors' visits/ consults, investigations including imaging, treatment as per the national protocol for COVID-19 care and standard care for co-morbidities, oxygen, blood transfusion etc.," the statement said.
The package rates would include costs of medical care of underlying co-morbid conditions including supportive care and cost of medications thereof, for the duration of care for COVID-19, it added.
"With the guidance of Hon'ble Home Minister Amit Shah, Covid-19 treatment made affordable in Delhi. #IndiaFightsCorona #HealthForAll," Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who represents centre in the national capital tweeted on Saturday.
Delhi has so far reported over 50,000 coronavirus cases; the last 30,000 COVID cases were detected in the last 20 days. On Friday, it reported its worst tally of over 3,000 cases in a day.
With the rapidly rising case count, the Delhi government is grappling with the shortage of health staff and beds. It recently converted several hotels into COVID-19 facilities.
There were social reports that some private hospitals had been charging lakhs for COVID beds.
On Saturday, an order mandating a five-day institutional quarantine for anyone testing positive for coronavirus in Delhi, issued by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, was withdrawn.
The decision came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked why a separate rule was being created for the city, sources said.
"Most corona patients are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. How will arrangements be made for them. The coaches provided by the Railways for isolation are hot inside where patients cannot stay," Mr Kejriwal was quoted as saying at a meeting.