Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Will set limits on what a hospital can charge: Health Minister Azad

In the name of streamlining the cost of hospital care, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today that the government is planning to fix a band by defining the upper and lower limit of what can be charged by hospitals for procedures and treatment.
This band, officials said, will depend on the facilities that a hospital provides.
“There will be a categorization of hospitals keeping in view its size, the equipment, faculty and doctors available in the institution. The range of rates will be fixed for a procedure. It can’t be unending. For instance, for a heart surgery, the fee could range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,50,000, it can’t be Rs 4 lakh or Rs 5 lakh. That (these rates) will have to be published and put on the notice board,” Azad said in the Rajya Sabha today.
While there will be a minimum standard that hospitals will have to adhere to, a hospital will be categorised in the “A” list if it maintains the “highest” standards. “If some institution does not comply with what has been published, then the District Collector will take action against that institution,” said Azad.

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