PANJIM: With the State government allowing charge of up to Rs 25000 per day for the ICU, the common symptomatic patient could easily have to pay a bill of Rs 5 lakh and above if he opts for COVID19 treatment in the private hospitals.
The order issued by Under Secretary Health Swati Dalvi says the government has capped the fees that the private hospital can charge for COVID19 treatment.
“Government is pleased to lay down the capping of rates for COVID19 admission in private hospitals with ICU facilities,” the order said.
The order says that for general ward with COVID charge the patients can be charged Rs 12,000 per day, twin sharing will be capped at Rs 15,000 per day, private room single will be charged Rs 18,000 per day and ICU with ventilator occupancy would be Rs 25,000 per day.
“The above charges include bed charges, nursing, resident doctor, diet, PPE kits for staff, routine medicines,” it says.
Shockingly, despite the huge charges, the package does not include diagnostic intensivisit, specialist/ intensivisit charges, use of special drugs, use of special equipment, other special procedures/ surgery etc and extra oxygen flow other than ICU.
Experts say with the above rate a symptomatic patient admitted in ICU for five days could end up paying more than Rs 5 lakhs.
“It is shocking that the huge charges do not include the basic oxygen flow or the specialist charge,” said an expert who did not want to be named.
When questioned about the huge costs, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant justified the same.
“We are giving the best of facilities in the GMC and other government hospitals and nobody is forcing anyone to go to private hospitals. It is based on their own choice. We at GMC and other hospitals still have the best facilities, which are on par with any private hospital,” he said.