Date: 23-Jun-2020

TSSHA Opposes Telangana Govt’s Decision On Price Capping For Treatment Of COVID-19 Patients

The Telangana Super Specialty Hospitals Association (TSSHA) has opposed the state government’s guidelines to price capping on treatment of COVID-19 patients by the private hospitals. However, during their recent meeting with the Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajender, they had put some terms and conditions to adhere to the government’s decision on the price cap.

According to Dr. Bhaskar Rao, president of TSSHA, the state government’s unilateral decision to price cap on the treatment of COVID-19 patients is going to impact adversely for the private hospitals because the cost of treatment is very high as the hospitals need to take adopt advanced and highly sophisticated treatment procedures.

“We feel that before taking any decision with regard to price capping on the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the state government should have consulted the TSSHA members, because in this issue we are also one of the stakeholders. The price cap stipulated by the state government for treatment of COVID-19 patients in ICU and on ventilator is very low. We have expressed our concerns with the health minister. However, the state government has decided to go ahead with the decision. In such a situation, the private hospitals are compelled to put some terms and conditions, only based on which we may go ahead to abide by the government’s decision on price cap,” said the TSSHA president.

He said that if the state government insists the TSSHA to agree for the price cap of the government, then the private hospitals have decided to put conditions that those patients will be provided treatment in general wards and not in isolation. However, if the patient insists on giving high quality treatment, then they need to shell out more for which the state government price cap may not come in the way.

Earlier, last week the state government of Telangana had issued guidelines for the private hospitals and set a price cap on various treatment procedures for the private hospitals. As part of which the government had put a price cap of Rs. 4,000 per day for treatment of COVID-19 patient in osolation ward, while Rs. 7,500 per day is set as the maximum price cap for treating the coronavirus infected patient in intensive care unit (ICU) and a Rs. 9,000 per day for treating a terminally ill COVID-19 patient on ventilator.

In fact, as per the existing tariff of private super specialty hospitals they are charging Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per day for treating a patient on ventilator. Going by this, the TSSHA members felt that the government’s decision to put a price cap may impact on the quality of treatment of the COVID-19 patients. “Though the government had put a cap on the price to treat coronavirus infected patients, majority hospitals in the first place may not admit the COVID-19 patients. Even if they admit and provide treatment, these patients may be provided treatment by putting them in general wards and not in separate isolation rooms, as this will cost hugely for the hospitals,” another member of TSSHA opined.