The Health Department’s order to this effect will give some solace to several patients, who are critically ill and having difficulties in getting admission to private hospitals because of financial constraints
In a welcome move, the Manipur Government on Wednesday fixed the charges for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals in the state.
Amid the allegations of patients being charged exorbitant fees for treatment in private hospitals, the Health Department’s order to this effect will give some solace to several patients, who are critically ill and having difficulties in getting admission to private hospitals because of financial constraints.
The order is expected “to ensure that reasonable rates are charged by private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment”.
The upper limit of charges for COVID-19 treatment has been set as — For general or isolation bed Rs 3,000 (without Oxygen support) and Rs 5,000 (with Oxygen support); Rs 7,000 for High Dependency Unit (HDU); Rs 8,000 for ICU without ventilator use, and Rs 10,000 for ICU with ventilator use. These are per day charges and include registration charge, bed charge, nursing and boarding charge, medicine and drugs, Oxygen charges, and pathology and radiology test.
The order also mentioned that high-end medicines like Remdesivir can be charged separately at the rate of Rs.3,400 per dose (i.e. the current Government of India prescribed rate). PPE costs may be charged separately based on actual use and the cost should be sub-allocated among patients based on rounds taken by the doctors or nurses, it added.
It has also been clarified that PMJAY and CMHT beneficiaries are covered for COVID-19 hospitalization expenses. Their bills will be processed as per PMJAY or CMHT norms and procedures.
The order further mentioned that under Section 2 (a) (iii) of the Manipur Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2010, Essential Services is defined as “any services connected with the maintenance of public health and sanitation, including hospitals, dispensaries, Primary Health Centres and Primary Health Sub Centres”;
Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 provides the state government with power to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease, it added.
It further stated that under the following relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the State Executive Committee may —
Under Section 22 (2) (h) – give directions to any Department of the Government of the Government of the State or any other authority or body in the State regarding actions to be taken in response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
Under Section 24 (d) – provide shelter, food, drinking water, essential provisions, healthcare and services in accordance with the standards laid down by the National Authority and State Authority.
Under Section 24 (e) – give direction to the concerned Department of the Government of the State, any District Authority or other authority, within the local limits of the State to take such measures or steps for rescue, evacuation or providing immediate relief saving lives or property as may be necessary in its opinion.
Under Section 24 (f) – require any department of the Government of the State or any other body or authority or person in charge of any relevant resources to make available the resources for the purposes of emergency response, rescue and relief;
Under Section 24 (h) – procure exclusive or preferential use of amenities from any authority or person as and when required;
Under Section 24 (j) – ensure that non-governmental organisations carry out their activities in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner.