VIJAYAWADA: In a bid to make CT/HRCT scan affordable to the common man, the State government has fixed the maximum price at Rs 3,000. At present, the cost of CT/HRCT scan in private hospitals and diagnostic centres is anywhere between Rs 3,500 and Rs 6,000. The government issued an order on Sunday fixing the maximum price for CT/HRCT scan, which includes cost of consumables like PPE, mask, spreadsheets, etc. Stern action will be taken against the private hospitals and diagnostic centres if they charge more than the maximum price fixed by the government for CT/HRCT scan. The Director of Public Health and Family Welfare has been directed to implement the order.
All the institutions providing CT/HRCT scan for suspected Covid positive cases have been asked to register themselves on website http://dashboard.covid19.ap.gov.in/ctscan. For every CT/HRCT scan done, details, including the name, phone number, CT/HRCT image and signed copy of CT/HRCT report, should be uploaded to the website. The details shall be made accessible to all hospitals in the State to enable them to admit a patient on the basis of the image and report thus avoiding any delay, which helps save lives.
The fourth report of the AP State expert committee on clinical management of Covid-19 said, “It is found that exuberant charges are levied for CT/HRCT scan which results in reduced accessibility and affordability leading to missing an opportunity to identify the disease early and also to analyse the severity, which has an impact on clinical management. The rate for each CT/HRCT scan may be fixed across facilities and public be made known of it.” If this diagnostic test is not affordable and accessible to the general public, then the disease will spread in the community leading to more cases and resultant burden on the health infrastructure.
Taking all these factors into consideration, the government has regulated the price of CT/HRCT scan. In fact, the government in the order issued on July 20, 2020 had suggested that the cost of CT/HRCT scan be fixed at Rs 2,500. The government also issued an order making amendments to the GO issued earlier and revised prices of major brands of Remdesivir injection (100 mg vial) prescribed is only limited to private hospitals and not for those undergoing treatment under the YSR Aarogyasri Scheme.
On April 16, the government issued an order fixing the maximum price of various brands of Remdesivir injection at Rs 2,500 per 100 mg vial. In the order issued on July 20, 2020, the government stated that the payment should be based on the latest MRP for drugs, including Remdesivir injection and antiviral drugs in moderate to severe cases of Covid.
In another order issued on Sunday evening, the government has accorded permission to engage the services of 1,170 specialists, 1,170 general duty medical officers, 2,000 staff nurses, 306 anaesthesia technicians, 300 FNOs, 300 MNOs and 300 sweepers on contract basis for a period of six months for Covid management in the State. The Commissioner of Health had urged the government to continue the posts of temporary medical staff in view of the spike in Covid cases.