Government rolls back increase in user charges in hospitals - ECAS Punjab

Government rolls back increase in user charges in hospitals

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Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31

The state government has rolled back the decision to increase user charge in state-run hospitals.

In a news report that appeared on Sunday, The Tribune had highlighted how the cash-strapped state government was out to "fleece" patients by increasing the user charges for more than 40 services.

In an order, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, Tanu Kashyap said, "It is intimated that revision in user charges made on August 28 has been withdrawn due to Covid-19."

For many years, the state government had been levying ambulance charges at Rs 5 per km, but increased it to Rs 15 recently. Admission and OPD registration charges were doubled to Rs 10.

Admission charges had been increased from Rs 25 in general ward to Rs 40. The common charges for minor surgery had risen to Rs 250 from Rs 100; for minor surgery under general anaesthesia, Rs 400 was to be charged as per increased rates.

Similarly, major surgery with general and spinal anaesthesia had been increased from Rs 750 to Rs 1,200. And charges for special surgical operation were to be Rs 1,500.

The charges had been increased despite the fact that the Congress had promised in its election manifesto in 2017 that if it came to power, it would rationalise the user charges. Last time the charges were increased in 2013. Some common charges had witnessed almost five to 10 times increase in the last one decade.

from The Tribune

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