Telangana Caps Prices on COVID-19 Testing, Bed Charges, Isolation WardsJun 15, 2020 02:17 PM
Since the beginning of June 2020, the COVID-19 cases in India are increasing at an exponential rate. Testing of the patients seems to be the need of the hour. However, there have been several reports of private hospitals taking advantage of this unfortunate situation by charging exorbitant prices for testing.
In response to this, the Telangana government has announced the prices to be charged for testing by the private labs and hospitals on Monday.
Telangana Health Minister Etela Rajender said that the state government has authorized the designated private labs to conduct the COVID-19 tests. However, the government has mandated these laboratories to charge not more than Rs. 2,200 per test.
The health ministry has also put a cap on the pricing related to bed charges, isolation wards, etc. Private hospitals, including corporate hospitals, cannot charge more than Rs. 4,000 per day in normal wards, Rs 7,500 in Intensive Care Units (ICU) without ventilator and Rs 9,000 in ICU with ventilator.
The tests will be conducted as per the ICMR guidelines. Any suspected patient can undergo the test. In the absence of severe symptoms, asymptomatic patients tested positive for Covid-19 can restrict themselves to home quarantine.
However, the health minister has suggested the private labs to refrain from testing people displaying no symptoms. He said, "As far as possible, people could get tested in government labs if they have any symptoms. If they want to go to private labs, it is their wish.”
The minister has also added that the private hospitals could collect additional charges for anti-viral drugs from patients on ventilators. The price of some anti-viral injections could go up to Rs. 50,000.
Further, these private hospitals are required to upload the information regarding the tests and treatment on the health department portal.