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Kerala HC appreciates State Govt for rate caps at private hospitals

The Kerala High Court on Monday appreciated the Kerala government for fixing the rates which are to be levied by the private health care sector when treating Covid patients.

The appreciation was made by the court while hearing a petition on the way the private health care sector was fleecing Covid patients and the state government informed the court that they have come out with the rates that can be charged.

The state government has also informed the court, all the violators will be charged under the Clinical Establishment Act and the fine would be 10 times the additional charges that have been levied.

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According to the new set of prescribed rates from now on the private sector can for a Covid patients patient in the general ward charge only Rs 2,645 daily while for a NABH accredited hospital, it can charge Rs 2,910.

Likewise, the daily rates for the ICU would be Rs 7,800 and for NABH accredited hospital it will be Rs 8,580 and for those who require a ventilator facility in the ICU, the daily rates will be Rs 13,800 and Rs 15,180.

The treatment protocol has also made it clear that in a day the PPE Kits that can be billed shall be two in general wards per day and 5 per ICU bed per day and the rates shall not exceed the MRP declared by the manufacturer.

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Incidentally, the sudden intervention from the court came after a private hospital in Ernakulam charged a patient Rs 1,67,000 for a 10-day stay, and the patient was given oxygen and an antibiotic and after this became news, the court suo-motu took up the case.

Soon came another complaint from a patient who was billed Rs five lakh for a seven-day treatment at the ICU in a private hospital in Kollam.

This new directive comes at a time when the pandemic has engulfed the state with a record 4.23 lakh active Covid cases in the state.