Kerala HC urges govt to ‘step in and control overcharging by hospitals for COVID treatment’
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Kerala HC urges govt to ‘step in and control overcharging by hospitals for COVID treatment’


Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking uniform rates for COVID-19 treatment, the Kerala High Court, on Tuesday, observed that the state government must step in to control the overcharging by private hospitals during the pandemic period. 
The Court further posted the matter on May 6. The Court said, “We intend to take this matter with some seriousness. The government will have to come out with some policy. Room rent, professional doctor/nurse charges, cost of machinery such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators among other instruments, hospital consumables including PPE kits– these are issues the government has to keep an eye on.”
The Court said it received complaints that even if there are 50 patients in a ward supervised by 2-4 nurses, each of the patients are being charged for a PPE kit in some hospitals.
“The second wave will drive more and more people to private hospitals. National Health Mission and Kerala Health Mission may have to play a role in the litigation. We cannot treat this as adversarial. Government has to step in. People are not dying of COVID-19, people are dying from treatment. COVID is a great leveller between rich and poor. There must be a rationalisation, there cannot be profiteering,” the court added. 
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala has 3,46,230 active COVID-19 cases currently, while 5,450 people have succumbed to the viral infection. On the other hand, India, on Tuesday, reported 3,57,229 new cases, taking the overall case count past the 2 crore mark to 2,02,82,833. 


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