Impossible to cap all charges of private hospitals: State to HC

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that it would not be in a position to regulate and cap the charges of the 100 per cent beds of private hospitals, treating both Covid and non-Covid patients. The state said it cannot take over these private hospitals.

A bench of Justices Amjad Sayed and Surendra Tavade was told that regulating the 100 per cent beds would amount to nationalizing private hospitals.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, for the state, pointed out that the state had issued two circulars asking private hospitals not to charge exorbitant rates as fees. As per these circulars, the private hospitals and nursing homes have been asked to charge a maximum of Rs 600 per patient per day for PPE kits in regular wards and Rs 1,200 for PPE in ICU ward.

"Accordingly, charges for beds, doctors' rounds, treatment etc, have also been fixed for 80 per cent beds," Kumbhakoni pointed out.

He further said that the state has already capped the rates of PPE kits and for 80 per cent of beds per patient per day.

"However, we cannot regulate the fees or charges of entire 100 per cent beds as it would amount to taking over private hospitals. This won't be feasible for the state," AG Kumbhakoni submitted.

"If we regulate the prices of 100 per cent beds, that would mean nationalization of hospitals, which we cannot do as the state does not grant any aid to private hospitals," the AG pointed out. The bench is likely to hear the matter in due course.

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