Delhi govt fixes cost of COVID-19 isolation beds at private hospitals

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that however, "100% COVID beds shall be subsidised upto an upper limit of 60% of total hospital capacity"

The doctors further claimed that with this law, there would be unnecessary interference of the government in private hospitals. Representational image: iStock

The Delhi government on Saturday (June 20) issued an order fixing the cost of a COVID-19 isolation bed in any private hospital in Delhi in the range of ₹8,000-₹10,000 and an ICU bed with ventilator at ₹15,000-₹18,000 per day.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that however, it has been decided that “100% COVID beds shall be subsidised upto an upper limit of 60% of total hospital capacity”.

This means that of the total number of beds in any private hospital here a maximum of 60 per cent will be dedicated for COVID-19 patients and all of these coronavirus beds will be provided to patients at subsidised rates.

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The committee, under the chairmanship of V K Paul, member, NITI Aayog, was constituted earlier to ensure the availability of 60 per cent beds by private hospitals at lower rates to coronavirus patients and fix the rate of COVID-19 testing and treatment.

The order by the Delhi Health Department said the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has accepted the recommendations of the high-powered committee, set up by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Delhi government on Thursday (June 18) had already issued an order to fix the price of a COVID-19 test performed by laboratories at ₹2,400.

The new rates are fixed at ₹8,000-₹10,000; ₹13,000-₹15,000, and ₹15,000-₹18,000 including PPE costs for isolation bed, ICU without a ventilator and ICU with a ventilator respectively for all private hospitals, the order said.

The lower slab apples to non-NABH accredited hospitals while the upper slab is for NABH accredited hospitals including those that are entry-level, according to the order.

The rates for private hospital beds will be all inclusive as a package, and will include bed, food and other amenities, nursing care, doctors visits, investigation and standard care for co-morbidities, it said.

But the rates would not cover experimental therapies, e.g., Ramdesivir, the order said. The charges would also not include COVID-19 diagnostic tests and IL-6 Levels.

For pregnant women, cost for delivery would be charged by the hospital as per prevailing PMJAY rates of relevant packages, it added.

On increasing the quantum of percentage of COVID-19 beds, the Delhi government in a statement said the Central government committee had recommended rates but it was limited to 60 per cent of the beds reserved for COVID patients in private hospitals.

“As the Delhi government has asked private hospitals to reserve 40 per cent of their beds for COVID patients as of now, this capping would have meant that only 24 per cent of beds would have been price capped,” it said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal put forward his views on this and strongly presented a case to cap the price of all the beds reserved for COVID in private hospitals, the statement said.

“After deliberations, it was unanimously decided to price cap all the reserved beds for COVID patients which will benefit the common man and leave no scope for arbitrary overcharging,” it said.

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