Rajasthan government on Friday (June 19) capped the charges for coronavirus testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients in private labs and hospitals.
The government fixed ₹2,200 for the testing of samples by private labs and has urged that no private hospital shall charge more than ₹2,000 per day for normal bed and ₹4,000 for ICU bed with ventilator.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s decision comes in the wake of several other states taking similar measures to make coronavirus testing affordable for all.
To regulate COVID-19 tests in the state, Haryana’s health department on Friday issued an order to cap the costs at ₹2,400 for Gurugram and rest of Haryana.
The move comes a day after an expert panel of the Centre, headed by NITI Ayog member VK Paul, suggested that RT-PCR testing costs be fixed at ₹2,400 for Delhi-NCR.
On Thursday (June 18), Karnataka’s COVID-19 task force put a cap on not just testing fee but also room rent and treatment cost in the state.
As per the decision, the cost of COVID-19 testing in private hospitals will be ₹2,600 for patients referred by a government hospitals. However, people who directly approach a corporate hospital will be charged ₹4,500.
The task force also revealed that a government hospital-referred patient will be charged ₹5,200 per day if admitted to the general ward and the fee will be ₹7,500 per day if oxygen support is required.
The price of an isolation ward is fixed at ₹8,500 per day which will increase to ₹12,000 per day for an ICU with a ventilator.
In a bid to provide relief to the common man, Union Minister Amit Shah directed the Delhi government on Wednesday (June 17) to fix the charges of coronavirus testing in the national capital at ₹2,400.
Earlier, the private labs were charging around ₹4,500 to ₹5,000 per COVID-19 test.
On the same day, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued new guidelines suggesting that the testing cap fixed at ₹4,500 across the country, has been removed. This means that the states can decide the rate of testing according to their response towards the pandemic.
To regulate the cost of conducting coronavirus tests in private labs in Maharashtra, the state Public Health Department fixed the prices at ₹2,800 for swab collection and testing, and ₹2,200 for cases where swab has already been collected.
The slash of about 50 per cent in the testing fee made it the lowest in the country.
Tamil Nadu was the first state to slash the COVID-19 treatment charges in private hospitals.
On June 6 Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said in an official release that the state has capped the charges for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals at ₹15,000 per day in intensive care units across the state and announced that no fee over and above the fixed slab can be claimed from patients.
In private sector hospitals, the per day charges for treatment in ICUs shall not exceed ₹15,000 and in general wards, for asymptomatic people and those with mild symptoms, the maximum is ₹7,500.
Meanwhile, in private laboratories the coronavirus testing charges will be reduced by at least ₹1,500. Since the labs would be expected to do more tests in the coming days, the rates will be capped at ₹3,000 and for home tests ₹500 extra will be charged.