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Government Moves a Step on Private Hospitals

After drawing flak from Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar and the public, the state government has set up a committee to recommend uniform package rates, classification and standards of infrastructure in private hospitals and standard protocols for treatment under the controversial Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Act. According to an order passed by the government, the committee will comprise 10 experts including the health department commissioner and its director, Ayush department commissioner, directors of medical education department and NIMHANS Hospital, IMA representative Prahlad Kanchi and Manipal Hospital advisor Dr SC Nagendra Swami. The committee will also look into hospital ranking on the basis of infrastructure and uniform fee among others. This will mean uniform package rates for various procedures in private hospitals empanelled under Arogya Karnataka. There is no clue as to when the rate fixation will be done as the terms of reference for the committee have not been stipulated by the government.

According to the KPME Act, the government can decide on treatment rates only at the hospitals under the Health Karnataka’ (Ayushman Bharat-Health Karnataka) scheme. The uniform package rate committee is headed by the principal secretary to department of medical education. The classification and standards of infrastructure committee is under the health and family welfare commissioner. The committee to fix standard protocols for treatment is headed by the director of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute. However, in the past, doctors’ associations and several hospitals had urged the government to expedite the process of new rate fixation. Mallesh Hulumani, president of KPME Association, who has been nominated as a member of the committee said, “Along with Indian Medical Association we have done cost accounting studies of various procedures.” – Indian Express