KOLKATA: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced guidelines capping treatment cost of coronavirus patients at private healthcare facilities amid complaints of "exorbitant charges’’ levied, reducing and capping them from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,250.
She also put a cap on the cost of PPE kits and doctors’ consultation charges.
"The PPE and other protective equipment costs will be capped at Rs 1,000 per day and doctors’ consultation charge will be Rs 1,000 per day. Many hospitals charge doctors’ consultation fees as high as Rs 5,000 a day.
"Earlier, we requested private hospitals to consider the treatment costs of coronavirus patients and some of them responded to it. This time, these guidelines will be sent to private hospitals and more caps and guidelines are to be announced shortly. The chief secretary and health department officials are working on it,’’ she said.
Covid-19 tests are conducted free of cost in state-run hospitals.
Earlier, the Chief Minister made admission of coronavirus positive patients mandatory at private hospitals. She also said if a private hospital denies admission, it will be booked under Clinical Establishment Act, 2017, and licence of the healthcare unit might be revoked.
In case of state-run hospitals, disciplinary actions will be taken against a doctor or concerned persons for violating norms of service rules, she had said.
The state government also issued an instruction to display the number of vacant beds for coronavirus patients and keep the health department in the loop with the latest details that can then be uploaded to the designated website and subsequently accessed by people who seek more information.
West Bengal recorded 542 fresh COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths today, taking total number of cases to 16,190 and death toll to 616. Number of active patients stands at 5,039.