COVID-19 Treatment price cap: IMA Maharashtra challenges govt to run private hospitals
Mumbai: In a backlash against its decision, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Maharashtra has recently challenged the government to run private hospitals with its recent price cap policy for COVID treatment.
"These branches will appeal to the Govt. of Maharashtra, that they cannot afford to run the hospitals with the rates forced by the Govt. and these hospitals should be run by the Govt. itself and taste their own medicine," said the association.
Moreover, intensifying its protest against the government's decision of capping the price for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, the doctors under the Indian Medical Association across Maharashtra (IMA Maharashtra) have further threatened to stop work indefinitely if their demands are not met within the next seven days.
All the Hospital owners amongst the IMA Members have decided to submit the copies of their Hospital Registrations to the IMA Branch offices at various places. These branches will appeal to the Government of Maharashtra, that they cannot afford to run the hospitals with the rates forced by the government. The association has urged that these hospitals should be run by the government itself.
All the organizations have supported the agitation by IMA and decided to form a joint action committee to work together.
IMA has been raising its voice against the "illogical and unprecedented" price cap for COVID treatment and the autocratic behaviour of the government citing that in view of the unaffordable rates forced by the Govt. for COVID hospitals, it is increasingly difficult to meet the skyrocketed expense to run the small and medium-sized private hospitals.
They also approached the authorities regarding the matter but in vain, hence IMA has urged the owners of private health facilities to submit a copy of their registrations to IMA branches after which IMA, Maharashtra will request the state government to take charge of the hospitals.
Around 25000 mid-sector hospitals are on the verge of closure. Govt. had accepted to increase the rates for the ICU and give concessions in Biomedical Waste Disposal Charges and Electricity Bills. The Govt. had also accepted to cap the rates of the PPE Kits and Masks for the doctors and the rates of Medical Oxygen used by the hospitals were also to be reduced as per Central Govt's regulations. This was to be finalized in a proposed meeting with IMA, before 1st of September 2020.
However, the Govt. unilaterally came out with the new rates on the 31st of August 2020 and made the previous rates more stringent. IMA alleged that this was a complete betrayal of the promises made to the doctors. Instead of increasing the previous rate, the figures were kept the same, however, the ICU charges included patients' daily medications, laboratory tests, oxygen, though. Similarly, the charges of PPE kits were restricted to Rs.600/- per day for general patients and Rs.1200/- per day for ICUs. IMA protested this notification in an Emergency State Council meeting on 4th September 2020 and began an agitation against it.
On 9 September, all the 216 branches paid a tribute to all the Martyr doctors in Maharashtra and proclaimed that the doctors are not robbing the patients as the propaganda by the political leaders, but serving the society in this COVID pandemic and many of them have lost their lives. Reasserting the same demands on 10th September, all the branches handed over the statement about the reasons for the agitations to all the district and Taluka level administrators.
On 11th September, all the IMA Members burnt the copies of Medical Council registrations, as a protest against the tyrannical behaviour by the Govt. Authorities and intimidating the doctors about cancelling the Medical Registrations.
IMA Maharashtra State convened a meeting of 14 different Medical organizations of all the pathies including Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yunani and Dentistry, all the disciplines of modern medicine and specialities on 12th September 2020.