The Maharashtra government on Friday capped the charges for treatment of mucormycosis patients at private hospitals in the state, where the official number of such cases has gone above 5,000. The state health department issued a notification to this effect, asking all charitable hospitals registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, to follow the capped charges while treating mucormycosis patients.
The state government has identified 28 types of surgeries for mucormycosis or black fungus treatment, it said. For surgeries, the minimum charges are fixed around Rs 6,000 in tier three cities, and the amount can rise up to Rs 1 lakh, depending on the region and the complexity of the treatment, said the notification, which will remain in force till July 31.
The notification mentioned the charges as per the region and the type of treatment. A senior official of the public health department said, ”There are some multi-disciplinary private hospitals in metro cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, where experts of brain, nose, eyes, ears, among others, are available to handle mucormycosis cases. Such hospitals are commonly known as super speciality hospitals.” If a patient wants to get treatment at such hospitals, the fees are generally huge. But this notification now caps the charges and patients can seek treatment in such multi- disciplinary hospitals as well, he said.
The government notification also mentioned that mucormycosis patients, who are not covered under any third party administrator, medical insurance or government scheme, had registered their grievances regarding exorbitant fees being charged by healthcare providers registered under the Bombay Nursing Home (Amendment) Act, 2005. It caused hardships to the people suffering from mucormycosis or suspected to be suffering from the disease, it said.
The notification warned the doctors of having to face penal action under various statutes if healthcare service or healthcare package is denied to patients. The notification also asked all the district collectors and municipal commissioners to appoint auditors in hospitals to issue a pre-audited bill to mucormycosis patients and their relatives.
If excess charging is found, the amount will have to be reimbursed to the patient, the notification said.