COVID-19 | Karnataka to cap price for CT scan at private facilities

State Health Minister announced the decision following complaints of patients being overcharged for CT scans by private hospitals.

Following a few complaints against private healthcare facilities overcharging for CT scan, the Karnataka government has decided to shortly fix a rate for the scan.

“The expert committee has recommended CT scan for better diagnosis of COVID-19. In government facilities, we are doing the scan for free. But, we have received complaints of overcharging for CT scans in private hospitals. We will shortly cap the rates for scan and issue an order,” K. Sudhakar, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, told reporters at Aiwan-e-Shahi Guest House in Kalaburagi on May 1.

When asked about when COVID-19 vaccines for those in the age group of 18 to-44 years would be made available, he said it would be available as soon as the vaccination providers had supplied enough doses.

“COVID-19 vaccination drive for people in the age group of 18 to 44 years has symbolically been launched by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa today in Bengaluru. We are not able to cover all in the age group at present as we have not received enough vaccine doses. We have ordered 2 crore vaccine doses. We are presently assured to be provided with only 3 lakh doses a day. We have 6,000 vaccination centres in the State and we will have to have at least 6 lakh vaccine doses a day when we go for universal vaccination. Once we get a proper supply of doses, we will go for vaccination on a large scale,” Mr. Sudhakar said.

To a question on whether the government would supply vaccines to private hospitals or the private facilities themselves must procure them from the suppliers, Mr. Sudhakar said that it would be decided as per the Union government guidelines.

“Presently, the Union government is providing the private hospitals with vaccine doses for people above 45 years. Whether or not the Union government would continue to supply the vaccines to private hospitals for vaccinating those in the age group of 18 to 44 years is not clear. The Union government directions would be followed,” he said.

When asked about the objections to the reservation of 15% beds in Bengaluru hospitals for COVID-19 patients of Chikkaballapur district, the Health Minister justified the move by stating that saving lives was more important.

“Where should patients from districts that don’t have well-equipped medical college and hospitals go for tertiary care? Chikkamagaluru, Ramangara, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar and Yadgir districts don’t have such well-equipped medical colleges and patients from these districts would have to be sent to nearby medical colleges and hospitals in the neighbouring districts,” he said.

Mr. Sudhakar said there was no proposal before the government for a complete lockdown. “The results cannot be visible in just four days after we imposed the [partial] lockdown. Maharashtra is under lockdown for the last 44 days and now the condition is coming under control. If the situation doesn’t come under control, we will have to go for stricter measures,” Mr. Sudhakar said.

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