Don’t seek deposit from COVID-19 patients: Health Ministry



1 November 2020, Kathmandu

The Ministry of Health and Population has directed the government hospital to treat the coronavirus infected without asking to deposit money.

At a regular press briefing on Sunday, the Ministry’s Spokesperson Dr. Jageshwor Gautam said that all government hospitals have been instructed to that end.

He also said that explanations have been sought from all the government hospitals demanding deposits from COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, the Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital has fixed the cost for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The government had recently announced not to bear the treatment expenses of the COVID-19 patients except for the people meeting certain criteria.

Earlier, the government-set COVID-19 Special Hospitals were providing treatment for free of cost.

Hospital’s Director Dr. Sagarraj Bhandari said that the Hospital fixed the charges for the treatment of the COVID-19 patients after the government did not provide a budget for the same.

“Earlier the government had been providing us the necessary fund to treat the infected ones. So, we had been availing treatment to the COVID-19 patients free of cost.”

The government recently had decided to bear the cost of treatment and PCR testing of frontline workers, including differently-abled, single women, senior citizens, security personnel, and sanitization workers.

Dr. Bhandari shared that the Hospital will be charging Rs 15,000 for a day for treatment in the ICU room with a ventilator facility. The patient or his family needs to deposit Rs 50,000. Likewise, the patient has to pay Rs 7,500 per person to avail ventilator facility.

Likewise, Dr. Bhandari informed that COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms need to pay Rs 7,500 per day for treatment in an isolation facility. In contrast, the patient with mild symptoms but in critical conditions would be treated at Gastro Isolation for Rs 3,500 per day, according to the Hospital.

It is required to deposit Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 in advance to treat each COVID-19 patient based on the severity of their ailment.

In case of the patient from a low-income family and who is a senior citizen, helpless and the patient with severe disability and single woman, they are exempted 10 percent on treatment bills based on the written agreement between the chief consultant and director of the Hospital, relevancy and the economic condition of the patient.

However, the Hospital Director Bhandari urged the Ministry to review its decision to charge treatment fees for COVID-19 patients. The Hospital has been providing free treatment to the infected people since the very beginning.

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