The Punjab government on Wednesday fixed the cost of coronavirus treatment at hospitals in an effort to stop overcharging. The cost fixed by the government varied from Rs 8,000 per day to Rs 18,000, depending on the severity of symptoms and the category of the hospital – private, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers [NABH]-certified and non-NABH certified.

Private hospitals in Punjab will now charge patients with moderate symptoms Rs 10,000 per day, according to a state government order. For patients requiring intensive care but not ventilators, the cost of treatment at private hospitals was fixed at Rs 15,000. Private hospitals can charge critically ill patients who need ventilator support Rs 18,000 per day.

At National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers [NABH]-certified facilities, patients with moderate symptoms will be not be charged more than Rs 9,000 per day. For admission to intensive care units, these hospitals are allowed to charge Rs 14,000. For patients on ventilator support, NABH-certified hospitals can charge Rs 16,500 per day.

Non-NABH certified hospitals, on the other hand, will charge patients will moderate symptoms Rs 8,000 per day, those who need intensive care Rs 13,000, and for those who need ventilator support, the treatment cost would be Rs 15,000.

Patients with mild symptoms will be charged Rs 6,500 per day at private hospitals, Rs 5,500 at NABH-certified facilities and Rs 4,500 at non-NABH hospitals. The treatment cost at all the hospitals also includes the price of personal protective kits.

Punjab reported 298 new coronavirus cases and nine deaths on Thursday. The state’s total rose to 9,094 and the toll reached 230. More than 6,000 patients have recovered so far.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had told the Centre that the cost of coronavirus treatment should not be a deterrent for a patient to receive medical care. “No patient should be turned away from the doors of healthcare institutions because the cost of treatment is too high,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said. The court also directed the Centre to regulate treatment costs at private hospitals in states.

Last month, the Delhi government had also placed a cap on the prices charged by hospitals for coronavirus treatment after the recommendation of a central government panel.

India reported another daily record of 32,695 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the total to 9,68,876. The toll rose by 606 to 24,915. More than 6.12 lakh people have recovered.

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