The Delhi government has ordered all private hospitals in the state that are treating coronavirus patients to display the full rate list of services at prominent places within the hospital premises. The rate list will include prices for various lab tests, isolation beds, and beds with ventilators.
The Delhi government made this decision after it had received various reports that some private hospitals were asking COVID-19 patients to pay arbitrary treatment charges, according to The Times of India.
Earlier, the government had asked all nursing homes and private hospitals with more than 50 beds to reserve at least 20 per cent of all beds for COVID-19 patients. Eleven private hospitals have already been ordered by the government to treat such patients.
Previously, the government had ordered all hospitals to open a 24x7 helpdesk to ensure admission to COVID-19 patients. It had also deployed senior nursing staff at all private and public hospitals to ensure that these places follow the protocol laid down for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
"While most of the private hospitals have been ethical in charging the patients for COVID treatment, some have not been," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently said in a press conference.
The CM also said that a person had informed him that they were denied admission to a private hospital and after much deliberation, the hospital had agreed to admit them but asked for Rs 2 lakh as admission fees.
"On a live TV programme aired a few days ago, an anchor called up a hospital saying that he needs a bed for a corona-positive patient in his family. First, he was denied the availability of the bed, and later he was told to deposit Rs 8 lakh for admission," added the CM. Kejriwal has termed these actions from hospitals as 'black-marketing of beds' for COVID-19 patients.
This order to curb hospitals from charging arbitrary fees from COVID-19 patients is the latest in a series of actions taken by the government to curb 'black-marketing of beds'.
The hospitals will display the rate list in places where they can be easily seen by the public. They will be displayed at the reception desks and areas near the billing counter to increase visibility. Non-compliance with the order will be seen as a violation under the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration (Amendment) rules 2011, according to the daily. Action according to rules will be taken against the violators, the order said.