60% beds in private hospitals to be provided at lower rate, panel set up

New Delhi: After the Delhi government indicated that it is looking into regulating private COVID-19 treatment in the Capital amid reports of exorbitant rates being charged by some, Union Home Minister on Sunday announced that a committee headed by NITI Aayog member VK Paul had been formed specifically to address this issue, following a meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, LG Anil Baijal and other officials of the State Disaster Management Authority.

According to officials in the Delhi Secretariat, the Delhi government had brought up the issue of capping private hospital treatment rates at the meeting with Shah. The Delhi government had suggested that private labs should be able to conduct COVID-19 tests along with government labs and their rates should be made affordable and easily available.

The Home Minister tweeted on Sunday about the committee to regulate private COVID-19 treatment prices and said that the committee would be dedicated to ensure reservation of 60 per cent beds for Coronavirus patients in private hospitals at low rates and to fix rates of Covid-19 treatment and testing.

This came after Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said that all private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients had been directed to submit their rate charts for ongoing discussions into how they can be regulated. The Delhi High Court had earlier refused to cap private COVID-19 treatment in the Capital, saying it could not pass blanket orders.

Moreover, LG Baijal and CM Kejriwal are also set to take up the issue of capping private COVID-19 treatment at the DDMA's meeting scheduled for Tuesday (June 16), as per the official meeting notice.

The committee formed by Shah to regulate these prices is expected to submit its report a day before the DDMA meeting on Monday, according to the Home Minister's office.

Shah added that in order to provide correct information and guidelines for coronavirus to small hospitals in Delhi, the Central govt had also decided to constitute a committee in AIIMS with senior doctors for telephonic guidance so that the best systems can be communicated to the ground level. Its helpline number will be released on Monday.

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