The decision of the state government to fix tariffs at private hospitals for treatment of critical and non-critical Covid-19 cases under the Dr YSR Aarogyasri scheme has drawn criticism from managements of private hospitals, who claim that it is not feasible to provide treatment at the rates fixed by the government. Further, hospital managements have expressed displeasure with the unilateral decision by state authorities in fixing treatment rates for Covid19 patients without taking into account the risks involved in the process.
“Many hospitals are running with just 30-40 per cent staff as paramedical staff are not willing to attend duties even in Non-covid-19 wards for fear of contracting the virus. We are paying almost 100-200 per cent additional wages to save lives of Non-covid-19 patients,” said a physician in Visakhapatnam. President of the Aarogyasri Network Hospitals’ Association Dr Busireddy Narendra Reddy criticised the packages announced by the government. “CT scan of the chest is mandatory to protect healthcare staff, which is not included in the package. They have fixed 900 for tests on non-critical cases, which is highly impractical and impossible,” said Narendra Reddy.
The technical committee that fixed the packages has not consulted any member of the association, Narendra Reddy said. Nor have insurance and risk allowances for healthcare professionals been included in the packages. “CT scan itself will cost 4,000 which is not included for non-critical cases. We have a duty to protect our professionals,” said Narendra Reddy.
Former state president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Srihari Rao said the association has suggested a rate of at least 5,000 per day for non-critical cases, 10,000 for ICU without ventilator and 15,000 ICU with ventilator. The prices announced by the government, he said, would have the adverse effect of hospitals not admitting patients and depriving them of treatment. “The government probably wants hospitals to just keep the patient in ICU, without administering the necessary medicines. What drugs you will get with that amount?” asked a chairman of a private hospital.