MCH rolls back decision to hike ICU, ventilator charges after protest

Hospital superintendent Dr Nizarudeen A said the services would remain free for all patients except for those above the poverty line.
Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital (Photo |EPS)
Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital (Photo |EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital (MCH) authorities have reversed the decision to hike the charges for utilising the services of ventilator and ICU following protests. Hospital superintendent Dr Nizarudeen A said the services would remain free for all patients except for those above the poverty line.

The Hospital Development Society had recently decided to increase the rates of ventilators to Rs 1,000 and ICU to Rs 500 a day, for patients above the poverty line. The hospital used to charge Rs 100 for the ventilator and Rs 50 for ICU before Covid. But the services were made free during Covid. 

The decision to hike the service charges was met with protests from the public. The State Human Rights Commission also intervened in the matter. Health Minister Veena George later issued a statement that the government has taken no such decision and the existing rates will continue.  Dr Nizarudeen, however, defended the decision not to keep dead bodies from outside at the hospital mortuary. Earlier, the hospital allowed to keep the dead bodies from outside for a nominal charge of Rs 300. 

“We made the decision to regulate the number of dead bodies due to a shortage of storage space. At least 20 post-mortem examinations are conducted at the MCH. We get as many unidentified bodies as well,” he said.

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