Pune: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday issued a Government Resolution (GR) stating that all healthcare providers will charge patients only as per the rates fixed by the government. Private hospitals, as per the Indian Medical Association (IMA), have welcomed the decision.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Avinash Bhondwe, President of IMA Maharashtra State said their body has welcomed the rates fixed by the government.
"They are well prepared, reasonable and practical. Only the charges for ICU should be a little more. IMA members have around 5000 hospitals in Maharashtra, they are all small hospitals, from 5 to 70 beds, owned by the doctors themselves. These fees are quite acceptable to them. They are not acceptable to non-doctor owned, large hospitals, usually run by ltd companies and are in chains," said Dr Bhondwe.
As per the GR, the hospitals are advised to increase the number of beds in hospitals to accommodate the increasing number of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, 80 per cent of beds, isolation and non-isolation, will be under the state government or municipal corporations. The rest 20 per cent beds can be charged by the healthcare providers as per their rack rates.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Sanjay Pathare, Medical Director at Ruby Hall Clinic shared that the GR by the government is a welcome step.
"We welcome the steps taken by the government in these unprecedented times. I am happy to share that we are already following it. The government will be regulating the charges and not to acquire hospitals. There is a separate COVID patients annexure in the GR dedicated for patients. During this pandemic, we are with the people and with the government," said Pathare.
The GR states that for COVID patients, the rates will not be more than the prescribed rates by the government in Annexure 5 of the GR.
Sharing his views, Dr Sunil Rao, Group Medical Director Sahyadri Hospitals said we are fighting with COVID-19 cases being admitted in empanelled hospitals like Karve Road branch, Hadapsar branch and Surya Sahyadri and a dedicated hospital of Kothrud.
"We are following all safety protocols for staff and doctors. We are following government of India guidelines for use of PPE, discharge and contact tracing. We are also doing planned surgeries as per our OT safety protocols. We have allotted one separate OT at each location for emergency surgery and COVID suspect cases," said Rao.