Hyderabad, June 15 (IANS) A Covid-19 test in a private hospital in Telangana will cost Rs 2,200 and treatment between Rs 4,000 and Rs 9,000 a day, according to a government announcement, here on Monday.
"Treatment in general isolation ward will cost Rs 4,000 a day and in the intensive care unit (ICU) without ventilator Rs 7,500. Those on ventilator can be charged Rs 9,000 per day," said Health Minister E. Rajender.
The hospitals will be free to charge separately for anti-viral drugs administered to a patient. Some anti-viral injections cost Rs 40,000-50,000, the Minister pointed out.
A day after permitting private hospitals and laboratories to conduct Covid-19 tests and provide treatment, the government framed the guidelines and set the charges to prevent 'exploitation'.
The private hospitals and diagnostic centres have also been warned of strict action over violation of guidelines and attempt to exploit the situation.
He said private hospitals and labs, which had obtained the Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) approval, could conduct Covid-19 tests on people reporting Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) symptoms.
"The test can be done as per doctor's advice and only if the person has any symptom. Tests shouldn't be conducted if the person is asymptomatic," he said.
If a person tests positive and needs hospitalisation, the hospitals will have to charge him as per the rates set by the government.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said while free testing and treatment would continue in government hospitals, those who wanted to get tests and treatment done in private hospitals were free to approach them. "The government has framed the guidelines and fixed the rates to prevent exploitation," he said.
He said people were undergoing Covid-19 treatment in 10-12 private hospitals, here and added, there were reports that they were being charged exorbitantly.
Under the guidelines, the private hospitals will have to provide information about the patients to the government to help it take containment measures in their areas.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday said private hospitals and labs could conduct Covid-19 tests. The move came a few days after the Telangana High Court asked the government to allow it to those who could afford services at private hospitals.
The chief Secretary said as per the Chief Minister's decision, 50,000 Covid-19 tests would be conducted in 30 Assembly constituencies in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits and surrounding districts in 7-10 days.
He said an action plan had been finalised and tests would begin on Tuesday. They will be conducted in containment zones. The families that earlier reported positive cases and the high risk groups will be covered.
Stating that there are some misinformation about tests, Kumar said there was nothing to worry about them. Two phases of random tests by the ICMR had proved that there was no community spread in the state, he added.