Tribune News Service
Solan, May 12
At a time when the district administration is trying to enhance the capacity of oxygen and ventilator-supported beds in private hospitals, the latter have expressed concern over the recurring expenditure on staff and accessories.
These issues were brought to the notice of the Solan Deputy Commissioner (DC), who held a review meeting at Nalagarh today with health, police officials and managements of private hospitals.
The hospitals informed that an anesthetist charged a whopping Rs 13,000 per hour while their oxygen usage bill amounted to Rs 2.5 lakh per month among other charges in the BBN. They also asked the administration if other expenditure would be shared by the government for admitting Covid patients. Since their oxygen and ventilator-supported beds had been acquired by the administration, they would fail to meet the recurring expenditure.
Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman said need-based acquisition of beds was being done from private hospitals for Covid-19 patients and their managements should come forward and help. “Covid patients should be treated on priority by private hospitals and in case laxities come to light, due action will be taken.”
He said, “The government has fixed charges ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 per day per bed in a private hospital for providing oxygen and ventilator support which was a reasonable amount. The hospital managements have been directed to provide requisite treatment to Covid patients and show munificence at this hour when a health calamity has gripped the nation.”
The Solan Chief Medical Officer has been directed to ponder over other issues as per the government norms.
He said Gagan Hospital and Malhotra Superspecality Hospitals in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) were being notified as district Covid Health Care Centres while Aakash Hospital had already been acquired. This has made available 61 beds having oxygen and ventilator support in these hospitals.
Since the charges in private hospitals are not regulated by the government, patients in the BBN are being charged at least Rs 50,000 in advance before admitting a Covid patient. The kin of a patient who died while being shifted to Shimla two days ago has been handed over a bill of Rs 1.6 lakh for his three-day stay in the hospital, informed officials.
It was surprising to note that no such issue has been flagged by two private hospitals acquired by the district administration of Sirmaur in the private sector.