maharashtra coronavirus: Taking over private hospitals for Covid-19 akin to nationalisation: Maharashtra govt to HC | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday told the Bombay high court it can regulate only 80% beds reserved in private hospitals and nursing homes treating both Covid and non-Covid patients.
“We are not inclined to regulate the remaining 20% beds. We are regulating and rationalising rates, but nationalisation is not possible. We cannot take over private hospitals. The government is not providing them anything. It’s like nationalisation,” advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a bench of Justices Amjad Sayed and Surendra Tavade. The court heard a PIL by advocate Abhijeet Mangade regarding the high charges of personal protection equipment (PPE) by private hospitals over procurement rates. On August 18, the HC asked whether action taken against such hospitals.
The state’s reply said a May 21 GR and the latest GR of August 31 regulate charges only in respect of 8 % reserved beds. No patient can be charged more than what is prescribed in the August 31 GR which has also fixed a ceiling on PPE cost. Such private hospitals can charge maximum Rs 600 per patient per day for stay in a ward and Rs 1,200 per day in ICU. “Any additional charge needs to be justified. If PPE is used for more than one patient, the cost may be divided among them,” said the AG. He also spoke about a mechanism whereby competent authorities will be set up at state and district level to check violations. “Additionally flying squads shall visit places and find out what is happening and take appropriate steps.”
The AG then said it is not possible for the state to regulate the balance 20% beds and “hospitals are directed not to charge more than the rack rates prevailing on December 31, 2019.”
Mangade said his anxiety is not in respect of bed charges but only with regard to PPEs which constitute a major part of the hospital bills. “My mother was charged Rs 72,000 for PPE and gloves for six days,” he said. The judges adjourned the hearing by a week. “Let it come before the chief justice,” said Justice Sayed.



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