There have been several reports indicating an emerging shortage of healthcare infrastructure including hospitals with ICU beds, ventilators, oxygen supported beds etc., for management of COVID-19 patients. There have also been reports of overcharging by healthcare providers for COVID-19 treatment.
Being seized of the emerging scenario, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has addressed the States/UTs to engage with the private healthcare providers to facilitate enhanced bed availability and critical care health facilities as well as to ensure fair and transparent charges for services provided.
In this regard, some States have already taken initiative. They have reached an agreement with the private sector on reasonable rates and arrangements to provide critical care for in-patient admissions.
In order to ensure that patients receive prompt, good quality and care at reasonable rates, it has been suggested to States to have consultations with the local private healthcare providers and arrive at reasonable rates, while factoring in cost elements for personal safety equipments for healthcare providers.
It has been suggested that the rates, once fixed, must be widely publicized so that both the patients and service providers are fully aware and capacities are used optimally.
States have also been asked to proactively engage with the private sector health providers and consider pooling in public and private healthcare facilities, as this will help in providing prompt, good quality and reasonable health care to COVID-19 patients.