NEW DELHI: Amid reports that private healthcare facilities were overcharging COVID-19 patients, the Centre on Monday asked states to engage with hospitals and fix rates for treatment provided to coronavirus patients to ensure that they receive 'prompt and good quality' at reasonable rates.
The Union Health Ministry also asked the states to engage with private hospitals to ensure there is enhanced availability of beds and critical healthcare facilities for coronavirus patients.
The ministry's directive to the states came after reports indicated a shortage of hospitals with ICU beds, ventilators among others. The reports also pointed out that private hospitals were overcharging Covid 19 patients for treatment.
"In order to ensure that patients receive prompt, good quality care at reasonable rates, it has been suggested to states to have consultations with the local private healthcare providers and arrive at reasonable rates, while factoring in cost elements for personal safety equipments for healthcare providers," the ministry said.
"It has been suggested that the rates, once fixed, must be widely publicized so that both the patients and service providers are fully aware and capacities are used optimally," it also said in a statement.
It said some states have taken initiative in this regard and reached an agreement with the private sector on reasonable rates and arrangements to provide critical care for in-patient admissions.
It said PMJAY package and CGHS package rates are already available with the states and the latter rates are fixed area wise.