Pvt hospitals took undue advantage of COVID-19 situation by overcharging patients: Maharashtra minister
The Maharashtra government has taken various measures to cap prices of healthcare services so that people can afford them, said the minister.
Maharashtra minister for public health and family welfare Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said private hospitals and diagnostic centres have taken undue advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the state. Tope, speaking at an event organised by the western region of industry body CII, said there have been instances of these private facilities overcharging people for their services.
"Private hospitals and diagnostic centres have taken undue advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the state. There have been several occasions where these centres and hospitals have charged exorbitantly for basic health services during the COVID-19 situation," he said.
The Maharashtra government has taken various measures to cap prices of healthcare services so that people can afford them, said the minister. I came to know recently that for HRTC (High Resolution Computed Tomography) test, charges were as high as Rs 13,000. "Plasma therapy which has not been very successful in treating COVID-19 patients was still attracting charges of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 for 200 ml supply. I have now capped it at Rs 5,500, Tope said.
Charges of testings have been capped as well. The volume is so huge that hospitals and laboratories still can make money by testing more and more people, he said. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown caused job losses and affected mental health of people, Tope said. "In the post COVID-19 situation, how to address mental health issues is another challenge before me as several people have lost jobs," the minister said.
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