In the wake of a spike in cases of Mucormycosis, commonly known as Black Fungus, the Maharashtra government has capped the daily rates of its treatment in private hospitals and nursing homes.
The state has so far recorded 6,003 cases of Black Fungus and 503 deaths due to the condition. While 1,450 patients have recovered, 4,024 are still under treatment, as per state data.
The order issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act and other related legislation states that the condition requires high-end treatment, both in its management and surgeries. It adds that the treatment rates are being capped to "redress the grievances regarding exorbitant amount of money charged by Healthcare Providers" from patients who are not covered by any health insurance and those who have exhausted their insurance cover.
Areas in the state have been classified under A, B and C categories and different rates have been fixed for the three.
In the A class, under which Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur fall, the daily treatment rate for ward patients has been capped at Rs 4,000. The rates for ICU without ventilator and ICU with ventilator support have been fixed at Rs 7,500 and Rs 9,000, respectively
For the B category, comprising Nasik, Amravati, Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Solapur, Kolhapur, Vasai Virar, Malegaon, Nanded and Sangli, daily rate for ward treatment has been fixed at Rs 3,000. The rates for ICU with and without ventilator support have been capped at Rs 5,500 and Rs 6,700, respectively.
In the remaining areas in the state, which are classified under C class, the rates have been capped at Rs 2,400 for wards, Rs 4,500 for ICU without ventilator and Rs 5,400 for ICU with ventilator support.
These rates do not cover costs of high-end drugs or diagnostic procedures such as CT scans and MRI, the order says. The order has also capped rates for surgical procedures, with separate charges applicable for A, B and C categories.
The order warns that if a healthcare unit is found violating the guidelines, an offence will be registered under the Indian Penal Code and its registration may be cancelled.