Screenwriter and columnist Aniruddha Guha shared a friend’s ordeal to get his COVID-19 positive grandfather treated at a private hospital in Mumbai. He wrote on Twitter, “40K+ a day. That’s what my friend is paying to give his grandfather a shot at survival after he tested positive for covid. 40,000. One day. Which are these hospitals, and what magical treatment are they providing at that fee? Isn’t there a bar on covid treatment in Mumbai!?”
Comedian Sapan Varma also weighed in and said, “I also witnessed this. Private hospital ICU wards. On an average it’s all 30k+ a day and a handful of tests and consultations daily. Sigh. Other option is govt hospitals which most people don’t trust. Plus everything is full.”
“Remember reading a @MumbaiMirror story where it said the ventilator + ICU package at private hospitals won’t cross 9,500 per day, according to a state government order. Clearly, I’ve missed something between then and now,” Guha added.
Acting on a slew of complaints from patients in the past couple of months, the state health department put a cap on the amount that private hospitals can charge COVID-19 patients.
As per the new notifications, private hospitals can charge Rs 8,000 and Rs 9,000 for ICU and ventilators, respectively, per day. The bill will include the cost of treatment, Personal Protective Equipment, nurses and doctors consultancy fees. Apart from this, the mark-up on expensive medicines has been capped at 10 per cent of the procurement rates, and the hospital cannot charge the patient more than the maximum retail price (MRP).
On Saturday, Maharashtra recorded 120 deaths, taking the total fatalities to 2,969 - including 1,577 in Mumbai, while the infected patients are 82,968, out of which 47,354 are from the country's commercial capital alone.