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After receiving various complaints about private hospitals overcharging COVID-19 patients, West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has issued an advisory on Saturday barring the hospitals from charging more than 20 per cent of the estimated cost.
The commission has put a cap on advance deposits for the hospitals, limiting it to ₹50,000 during the admission. In case the patient is unable to deposit the required amount at the time of admission, the hospital would grant provisional admission and provide necessary treatment, the notification further read. However, the admission would be regularised upon the deposit of the amount within a period of 12 hours, and the hospital would be at liberty to cancel the provisional admission, it added.
Private hospitals have also been asked to inform the families about the billing regularly. Sanction from the families has to be taken for pathological tests if this costs more than ₹2000 and the necessity of the tests have to be explained to the families in advance.
According to The Hindustan Times report, the government had earlier this week talked about hospitals charging people for the most expensive antibiotics, sanitizers, gloves, headgear, antifungals, analgesics and other drugs, which are available in different price ranges and brands, and directed them for patients to be given choice.
A sum of ₹1000 for PPE is already fixed and will be automatically included in the bill.
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