By NewsGram Staff Writer
New Delhi: The Delhi Government on Wednesday fixed a maximum fee of Rs 600 for dengue tests at private hospital, after reports of overcharging by private hospitals came to light, a minister said.
“We have come to know that private hospitals are overcharging for dengue tests. That is why we’ve decided to fix a cap on these tests for the private hospitals and laboratories. Nobody can charge anything beyond this rate,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain.
Private hospitals were instructed by the state government to increase their bed count by 10 to 20 percent within a week.
“If the private hospitals successfully increase the number of beds, there will be an average increase of at least 3,000 beds for patients in the capital. These will be used only for fever and dengue patients and no private hospital should turn away patients,” he said.
There are three tests for dengue – NS1 antigen test, dengue antibody test and the platelet count test. The minister said that the government has fixed a cap of Rs.600 each for the first two tests and Rs.50 for platelet count test.
At present, there are a total of 10,000 beds in state-run hospitals, 20,000 in municipal and central government-run hospitals, and 20,000 more in private hospitals, according to the Delhi Government.
Reacting to the recent deaths in the capital because of Dengue, he said: “This is not an outbreak but people are in panic. I appeal to the people to try and avoid mosquito bite during day time. People should understand their responsibility. They shouldn’t let water collect in pots, pots, tyres and utensils.”
In addition, he urged people not to indulge in “self-medication” and advised that people should “take medicines only on the prescription of doctors”.
“But they should not pressurize hospitals to get themselves admitted. If a doctor feels a patient needs to be admitted, he will do it,” said Jain.
Regarding the shortage of beds at Safdarjung hospital, Jain said: “I have spoken to (Union Health Minister) J.P. Nadda yesterday (Tuesday) and requested him to look into the matter.”
(With inputs from IANS)