Tamil Nadu, the second worst hit state in terms of coronavirus positive cases, has fixed ceiling prices for treatment of COVID-19. While critical patients will have to pay Rs 15,000 per day for treatment in a private hospital, non-critical patients cannot be charged more than Rs 7,500 a day by the healthcare providers of the state, the government has said.
In a recent directive, the government also added COVID-19 treatment and testing packages to the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS), thereby making it available to the beneficiaries of the scheme. The government stated that the decision to put a ceiling price on the treatment of COVID-19 was taken after increasing complaints of private hospitals charging exorbitant amount from COVID-19 patients. Tamil Nadu has 34,914 confirmed COVID-19 cases at the moment.
As per the approved package, for non-critical COVID-19 patients, the empanelled hospitals can charge Rs 5,000 per day for treating CMCHIS beneficiaries. Depending on the type of hospital and nature of treatment, the per day cost in case of a COVID-19 patient in critical condition under CMCHIS can vary from Rs 9,000 to Rs 15,000. An additional amount of Rs 2,500 for RT-PCR testing and Rs 500 if the test is conducted through a home visit can also be billed under CMCHIS.
For the general public undergoing non-critical COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, the per day charges will be either Rs 5,000 or Rs 7,500 depending on the grade of the hospital. For critical care, the charges have been fixed at Rs 15,000 per day for all types of hospitals.
The beneficiaries of Tamil Nadu Pensioners' Insurance Scheme will also be charged the same way by hospitals. The state government said it has been taking several measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a notified list of government hospitals and government medical colleges, district health quarters hospitals and key sub-district hospitals that are offering free COVID-19 treatment. In addition it has also notified a list of private medical colleges and hospitals that offer COVID-19 treatment. The list will be modified from time to time, the government order said.
States like Maharashtra and Gujarat, where COVID-19 infections are as severe as Tamil Nadu have also announced cap on treatment and testing charges. While there are 90,787 cases in Maharashtra, the number of confirmed patients in Gujarat till June 9 is 21,014. Delhi, which has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases, stands at 31,309.