Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Eshwar Khandre has demanded that the State government bear the treatment cost of coronavirus patients referred to private hospitals on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh government which took a similar decision a few days ago.

Addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi on Sunday, Mr. Khandre said that due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the State, patients are scrambling for ICU beds, oxygen and ventilators.

Stating that private hospitals were looting patients in the name of COVID-19 treatment, he urged the government to improve the healthcare system.

For high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan, private diagnostic centres and hospitals are charging between ₹5,000 and ₹6,000 per scan, Remdesivir injection is being sold at rates ranging from ₹15,000 to ₹20,000 per vial and oxygen cylinders and ventilators are provided at ₹20,000 to ₹25,000 for each patient.

Mr. Khandre said that “family members of patients are forced to shell out around ₹8 lakh to ₹10 lakh for a week to provide treatment for COVID-19.”

The government should bring COVID-19 treatment under the Arogya Karnataka scheme, the flagship free healthcare scheme of the State. The treatment cost of patients admitted in private hospitals should be borne by the government, he added.

The Andhra Pradesh government has spent around ₹309 crore for paying bills of 1.33 lakh COVID-19 patients admitted in private hospitals, he added.

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