The Tamil Nadu government temporarily cancelled the authorisation of Be Well Hospital in Chennaiâ€™s Kilpauk to treat COVID-19 patients as the private facility was found charging more than the tariff fixed by the state. The hospital charged Rs 12.20 lakh from a COVID-19 patient for 19 days despite the cap fixed by the government. The private hospital also did not provide special medicines as per the government protocol for treating the patients.
A press release issued by Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Saturday said that a surprise inspection revealed that the Be Well Hospital in Kilpauk charged Rs 12,20,000 for treating a COVID-19 patient for 19 days. The private hospital also did not provide medicines for COVID-19 patients, as prescribed by the government, it stated.
It was on these grounds that the Tamil Nadu government temporarily cancelled the authorisation to treat COVID-19 patients at the hospital. The government also reiterated that the state would take action if private hospitals are found to overcharging for COVID-19 treatment.
The Tamil Nadu government issued an order on June 5 capping the treatment cost at private hospitals for coronavirus patients. The state government permitted private hospitals to charge a maximum of Rs 7,500 per day from asymptomatic or mild symptomatic patients. The government also classified the hospitals as A1, A2, A3 and A4 depending on the availability of beds and doctors.
The A1 and A2 hospitals were permitted to charge a maximum of Rs 7,500 while A3 and A4 category hospitals were permitted to charge Rs 5,000 from mild symptomatic or asymptomatic patients. The government allowed private hospitals to charge a maximum of Rs 15,000 per day from patients with severe symptoms requiring ICU treatment in all four categories.
The prices were fixed following reports that hospitals were fleecing patients who tested positive for the coronavirus.
As of Friday, the Tamil Nadu government recorded 5,881 new cases of coronavirus. The state currently has 57,968 active COVID-19 patients receiving treatment.