COVID-19: Private hospital price cap will continue in Mumbai for three months

Updated: 31 August, 2020 07:15 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Administration, managements agree 80% of beds used for COVID treatment and 50% used for other ailments will remain affordable

Private hospitals can now have their own charges for half the non-COVID beds. File pic
Private hospitals can now have their own charges for half the non-COVID beds. File pic

In consultation with various private hospitals in the city, the civic chief has decided to extend the price cap in private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment by another three months. The state government's previous order expires on Monday. It is expected to issue the order for extension in a couple of days.

The terms of the price cap were discussed in a meeting between civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal and representatives from the city's leading private hospitals last week.

Speaking to mid-day, Chahal said that the meeting took place on August 27, with representatives from 12 private hospitals and while the conditions for charging COVID patients remain the same, some relief will be granted to non-COVID patients. "We have asked private hospitals to keep the ratio of 80:20 cap on charges for COVID patients for the next three months. For non-COVID patients, they can start charging regular rates for 50 per cent of the beds while the remaining 50 per cent will have government rates," said Chahal.

Representatives from Hinduja hospital were present in the discussions with the civic chief. File pic
Representatives from Hinduja hospital were present in the discussions with the civic chief. File pic

The state had mandated that private hospitals allocate 20 per cent of their beds for COVID patients and 80 per cent of this 20 per cent is to be regulated by the civic body. The earlier order had mandated regulation for 80 per cent of non-isolation beds too.

Chahal pointed out that the relief was granted to private hospitals since KEM, Nair and other civic hospitals have recently started treating non-COVID patients.

"We can now handle patients who can't afford expensive private hospitals and a decision has been taken to continue the 80:20 arrangement for COVID patients alone. We will take a review in the first week of October. The formal order is under process and will be issued in a couple of days," Chahal said.

Losses for pvt hospitals

Dr Gautam Bhansali, chief coordinator for private hospitals and consultant physician with Bombay Hospital said that the meeting was attended by representatives from Hinduja, Jaslok, Hiranandani, Kokilaben and Breach Candy hospitals among others.

"Due to the cap on charges, all private hospitals are currently suffering losses. Certain nursing homes that were asked to stop treating COVID patients also have their objections since they have all invested in preparing their facilities for the pandemic. We had a meeting with the municipal commissioner and are waiting for formal orders from the government," he said.

Sources said that the final order is expected to be signed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday evening.

Also Read: Hospital, insurer asked to pay Rs 35,000 compensation to Thane man

The order issued in May had announced a cap on charges for both COVID and non-COVID patients till August 31. Earlier this month, various private hospitals, citing losses, asked Thackeray and Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary of the State Health Department, to remove the cap after August 31. Currently, 33 private hospitals are treating COVID patients in the city.

No. of hospitals whose authorities met civic chief

No. of pvt hospitals treating COVID patients

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First Published: 31 August, 2020 07:05 IST

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