This post was originally published on this site

Denying allegations of profiteering from the covid-19 outbreak, top private hospitals said high fixed costs are the primary reason for the high charges of patient care in India. “Charges often go up because while treating a covid-19 patient the hospital empties the ward, but the staff payments for that ward continue,’’ Dr Ranjan Pai, chief executive, Manipal Education and Medical Group, said in an interview.

“Besides, even the staff has to be kept in isolation. Doctors may be taking pay cuts because some of them are on variable pay, and they are not operating, but we are paying full salaries to our nurses and low-level staff like housekeeping.”

Charges for covid-19 treatment range between 25,000 per day to 70,000. A committee appointed by the Centre is now looking at instances of exorbitant charges at some private hospitals and is expected to submit its report this week.

While Maharashtra imposed a pricing cap on covid treatment, hospitals said the cost of treating comorbidities is pushing up hospitalization costs in many cases.

“Typically, the standard treatment for covid-19 starts with CCQ plus Azee or Ivermectin plus Doxycycline, but then, depending on the condition of the patient the treatment changes,” Dr Sujit Chaterjee, CEO, Hiranandani Hospital, said. “In fact, due to the capping of charges, hospitals are witnessing definite losses.”

The Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, however, said in some cases patients are being charged on ‘actuals’.

“The day charges include various procedures and, based on patient need, some procedures are charged on the actual cost (which are not capped). We are cooperating with the government to tide over this,” said a hospital spokesperson.

Kalpana Pathak contributed to this story.

Subscribe to newsletters

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.