In a first, the Maharashtra government has capped the cost of the treatment which private and trust-run hospitals across the state charge from those patients who don’t have any kind of insurance or can’t manage to go to government hospitals.
The order, passed under the Disaster Management Act comes after several patients highlighted their plight regarding exorbitant fees the private hospitals charge from COVID-19 patients.
“…the government has received a large number of grievances of exorbitant amount of money being charged by healthcare providers registered under this (Mumbai Nursing Home Registration) Act, causing hardships to the public in general during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the order, issued by Maharashtra health secretary Pradeep Vyas.
As per the order, hospitals that don’t have tie-ups with any insurance network will have to follow the rates fixed under the notification. The Government has capped prices for more than 130 different procedures including general surgeries, cardiac, obstetric and gynaecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic and neurosurgery. As per the Hindu report,, an angiography has been capped at ₹12,000, angioplasty with one stent has been capped at ₹1.2 lakh, dialysis has been capped at ₹2,500, and a total knee replacement has been capped at ₹1.6 lakh.
Sudhakar Shinde, the chief executive of state-run insurance company Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana said, “We want to regulate and protect those patients who do not have an insurance cover or have exhausted their cover. We request hospitals to comply with this order in this pandemic.”
Some of the largest hospitals in Mumbai are owned by public charitable trusts including Hinduja, Lilavati, Breach Candy and Jaslok. These hospitals will have to provide free-of-cost medical treatment to indigent patients. They also need to earmark 10% of the beds at concessional rates for the weaker sections.