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In order to stop private hospitals from overcharging patients in the name of COVID-19, the Assam government on June 4 notified fixed cost structure for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The state government fixed the cost of treatment of COVID-19 patients in private nursing homes and hospitals in the state. As per the government notification, the cost has been fixed based on the types of hospital.

Assam health minister Keshab Mahanta said the decision was taken in view of complaints from the public that some hospitals were charging astronomical sums in the name of COVID-19 treatment.

The charges in super specialty hospitals and other hospitals shall be fixed for COVID patients considering if the bed occupied is in the general ward, paying cabin or ICU, said the notification.

In a super specialty hospital, the per-day charge for the general ward would be Rs 5,000, for share cabin Rs 6,500, for ICU without ventilator Rs 10,000, and Rs 15,000 for ICU with the ventilator.

In a general private hospital, the per-day charge for the general ward would be Rs 4,000, for share cabin Rs 5,000, for ICU without ventilator Rs 9,000 and Rs 12,000 for ICU with the ventilator.

Major tests and investigations, like CT Chest /HRCT Chest/Di dimer, etc as well as high-level drugs such as Remdisivir/ Tocilizumubab, etc and treatment and diagnosis procedures related to any co-morbid conditions, are excluded from the charge, the notification said.

The cost, however, will include registration charges, bed charges, food charges, nursing and consultant fees, medicine and drugs as per treatment protocol, cost of PPE kits and face masks, basic diagnostic radiology and pathology tests like X-ray, USG, haematology etc.

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