Private hospitals in Telangana were instructed to charge high-end drugs and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at MRP. Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr. G. Srinivasa Rao on Wednesday issued directions to hospital managements to also display MRP of these drugs and PPEs at prominent places.

Besides, hospitals were asked to provide itemised bills while discharging patients. Families of COVID patients at private hospitals complained that exorbitant rates were charged even for PPEs ranging up to ₹10,000 a day, for diagnostic tests like CT scans. The DPH said that there was a need to introduce greater transparency in the rates charged by private hospitals so that people can verify bills.

According to the State government’s order issued on June 15, maximum rates for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals ranged between ₹4,000 and ₹9,000 depending on the ward and if ventilator support is provided. The price ceiling does not include charges for PPEs, high-end medicines and diagnostic tests.

As per the order, high-end drugs such as Immunoglobulins and Tocilizumab should be charged at MRP. Investigations such as CT scan and MRI have to be charged at rack rates of the hospital as on December 31, 2019. Another order issued on July 7 stated that the ceiling prices are not applicable for patients subscribing to insurance schemes. People complained that high rates were charged for the exclusions. They lodged grievances through WhatsApp number 91541470960 or 104. The DPH on Wednesday said that all hospitals have to display the rack rates (as on December 31, 2019) at prominent places in their hospital immediately. “Any deviation from these will be viewed seriously and action will be initiated as per provisions under the Epidemics Act 1987, and Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishments (Registration & Regulations) Act 2002,” Dr. Rao stated.

Though permission to treat patients was revoked to two private hospitals, others continue to charge between ₹50,000 and ₹70,000.

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