Suspected COVID-19 patient gets Rs 9.9 lakh bill for 10-day treatment at hospital

Updated: 16 July, 2020 09:20 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Bengaluru

The bill estimate, dated July 13, shows that the hospital in Bengaluru charged Rs 1,40,000 for the use of a ventilator

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

A man suspected of having contracted COVID-19 in Bengaluru received a bill of Rs 9.9 lakh from the hospital where he was admitted for 10 days after showing symptoms of the virus. According to Deccan Herald, the man posted a picture of the bill on Twitter, that came to the notice of Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar and Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey and they assured strict action against the hospital.

The bill estimate, dated July 13, shows that Columbia Asia Hospital in Bengaluru charged Rs 1,40,000 for the use of a ventilator, which is higher than the rate fixed by the government. The per-day rates fixed by the government for a person directly approaching a private hospital is Rs 25,000.

"Any private hospital found to be overcharging patients will be dealt with seriously. We have fixed rates for both cash-paying patients who go directly to private hospitals and those referred by the government also," Sudhakar was quoted as saying in the report.

Meanwhile, the general manager of the hospital said in a statement that the patient came to the hospital on July 13 at around 2.30 pm with fever and respiratory distress. "He also had co-morbidities of diabetes and hypertension. He was tentatively diagnosed as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, due to a viral or bacterial cause," said the general manager of the hospital.

"We wish to point out that at that stage, he was not a confirmed COVID-19 case nor was he referred by the government. Any patient in such a situation is given an estimated bill. This does not mean that any final bill or costing was provided. All patients once confirmed to be COVID-19 positive are treated in conformity with the government rules and regulations which Columbia Asia commits to follow with no exception," the hospital general manager added.

A joint circular issued on Tuesday by BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar and Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey has ordered the hospital to treat the patient as per the rates fixed by the government till his COVID-19 test results come.

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First Published: 16 July, 2020 08:30 IST

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