With the fresh infections declining, the second wave of the coronavirus continues to recede in the country but the Karnataka government is yet to clear the pending bills of private hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, reported Deccan Herald.
Complaints Govt Owes Lakhs
In the state, several private hospitals have complained that the government owes them lakhs of rupees for treating COVID-19 patients under the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust, which is a separate body under the health department.
According to Deccan Herald, out of the 2.66 lakh COVID patients treated by the private hospitals last year, bills of only 78,658 have been cleared so far, amounting to ₹310.99 crore.
According to the data, the numbers amounted to 29.57 per cent of total COVID patients treated in the state under the government quota, and the payment for over 13,000 patients amounting to ₹43 crore is in the pipeline.
Deccan Herald reported that the government has cleared bills of over 1.44 lakh patients amounting to ₹410 crore until now.
'Data Is Misleading'
Dr Prasanna H M, President of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said private hospitals treated 1.3 lakh patients under the government quota during the first COVID wave, and 2.5 lakh patients were treated during the second wave.
"The SAST data claims what they have paid for also includes government hospital patients," Dr Prasanna pointed out. "They haven't cleared even 50% of the bills generated in the first wave."
For example, Pristine Hospital in Rajajinagar said that ₹19 lakh is still due from the government for patients treated during the first wave, while it has received only ₹3 lakh from the government for the second wave. A COVID patient requires seven days to recover and the cost goes up to ₹35,000 despite the government's ceiling.
According to Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Jawaid Akhtar, only 200 bills per day can be cleared, said Prasanna.