Delhi Govt to Subsidise Beds, Procure Oxygen Tanks for COVID-19 Patients in Private Hospitals

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia stated that 100% COVID beds shall be subsidised upto an upper limit of 60% of total hospital capacity.

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Saturday issued an order fixing the cost of a COVID-19 isolation bed in any private hospital in Delhi in the range of Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000 and an ICU bed with ventilator at Rs 15,000-Rs 18,000 per day.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that however, it has been decided that “100% COVID beds shall be subsidised upto an upper limit of 60% of total hospital capacity”.

This means that of the total number of beds in any private hospital here a maximum of 60 per cent will be dedicated for COVID-19 patients and all of these coronavirus beds will be provided to patients at subsidised rates.

The committee, under the chairmanship of V.K. Paul, member, NITI Aayog, was constituted earlier to ensure the availability of 60 per cent beds by private hospitals at lower rates to coronavirus patients and fix the rate of COVID-19 testing and treatment.

The order by the Delhi Health Department said the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has accepted the recommendations of the high-powered committee, set up by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Delhi government on Thursday had already issued an order to fix the price of a COVID-19 test performed by laboratories at Rs 2,400.

The new rates are fixed at Rs 8,000-10,000; Rs 13,000-15,000 and Rs 15,000-18,000 including PPE costs for isolation bed, ICU without a ventilator and ICU with a ventilator respectively for all private hospitals, the order said.

The lower slab apples to non-NABH accredited hospitals while the upper slab is for NABH accredited hospitals including those that are entry-level, according to the order.

The rates for private hospital beds will be all inclusive as a package, and will include bed, food and other amenities, nursing care, doctors’ visits, investigation and standard care for co-morbidities, it said.

But the rates would not cover experimental therapies, e.g., Ramdesivir, the order said.

The charges would also not include COVID-19 diagnostic tests and IL-6 Levels.

For pregnant women, cost for delivery would be charged by the hospital as per prevailing PMJAY rates of relevant packages, it added.

On increasing the quantum of percentage of COVID-19 beds, the Delhi government in a statement said the Central government committee had recommended rates but it was limited to 60 per cent of the beds reserved for COVID patients in private hospitals.

“As the Delhi government has asked private hospitals to reserve 40 per cent of their beds for COVID patients as of now, this capping would have meant that only 24 per cent of beds would have been price capped,” it said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal put forward his views on this and strongly presented a case to cap the price of all the beds reserved for COVID in private hospitals, the statement said.

“After deliberations, it was unanimously decided to price cap all the reserved beds for COVID patients which will benefit the common man and leave no scope for arbitrary overcharging,” it said.

Delhi government on Saturday also said it is in the process of procuring oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders and directed hospitals under it to not procure them for COVID-19 patients, according to an official order issued on Saturday.

In an order issued on June 9, the government had directed medical directors of all the designated COVID hospitals under Delhi government to arrange oxygen supply for all the hospital beds. However, the government, in supercession of its earlier order, said hospitals may now not procure oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.

“The Health Department is already in the process of procurement of 18,000 D-type cylinders, 3,000 B-type cylinders and around 3,000 oxygen concentrators centrally,” the order said.

“The cylinders and concentrators will be procured shortly and will be allocated to the respective hospitals in a staggered manner as per their requirement and as per the receipt from the suppliers,” it said.

It is also directed that consumables and ancillary devices such as regulators , breathing circuits, masks, nasal prongs, cannulas, filters, flow metres, trolley stand etc. to make the oxygen cylinders operational may be procured by the hospitals as per their need and stock position, it added.