After observing that the fee cap of private hospitals fixed by the Assam government as being high, Gauhati High Court on Thursday directed the state government to reconsider the rates fixed by it for COVID-19 treatment of patients in private hospitals, including the rates of single cabins. The directive came after hearing a petition filed by the Advocates’ Association of Indigenous Rights of Assamese (AAIRA).
As per a notification by the state government on June 4, the rates for the general ward, shared cabin, ICU and ICU with ventilator in a non-super speciality hospital were fixed at Rs 4,000, Rs 5,000, Rs 9,000 and Rs 12,000 respectively; the rates for the same in a super speciality hospital were fixed at Rs 5,000, Rs 6,500, Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000.
The petitioner stated that the rates fixed by the state government were higher and mentioned that the rates are not different for different cities, towns and districts of Assam which will increase the problems of the public residing in the smaller towns.
The petitioner pointed out that despite having a higher capita income, several state likes Kerala and Maharashtra have kept much lesser rates while fixing the fees of private hospitals. And also, highlighted the fact that the Assam government did not fix the rate for a single cabin which will allow private hospitals to charge exorbitant rates for a single cabin.
The Gauhati Court in reply directed the state government to reconsider the rates, including the rates of single cabin and fixed July 15 as the next date of hearing.