State to bear expenses of H1N1 patients

Private hospitals to forward bills to govt


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The State Government will bear the expenses of patients who undergo swab tests and treatment at private hospitals. To avail of this facility, private hospitals should forward their medical bills to the government.

The swab test kit costs Rs 1,500. Private hospitals charge Rs 300 to Rs 5,000 from patients for the test. Government hospitals do not collect money from people for these services, an official informed the chief minister during the meeting.

According to the chief minister’s office, the government will formulate guidelines for reimbursing the medical bills. Charges for treatment and tests collected by private hospitals vary. The government will soon fix a price and announce the place where the public should approach for reimbursement of the bills.

The chief minister directed Nimhans to purchase high-capacity PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines which can test 300 samples a day. He asked Dr D Nagaraj, director, Nimhans, to make arrangements for purchasing the equipment, which costs Rs 40 lakh, within three days. The government will bear the expenses.

Nagaraj said A(H1N1) cases were being reported from Bangalore and surrounding areas, Mangalore and the state’s border between Karnataka and Maharashtra. The State Government should make arrangements for ventilators in district hospitals in these areas. To begin with, at least two ventilators should be kept ready. The chief minister directed the Health Department to purchase the equipment.

Meanwhile, Health Minister B Sriramulu has asked the police to book criminal cases against those who sell masks in the black market. He said a few hospitals had been identified for setting up swab test labs. They include Narayana Hrudayalaya, Santhosh lab, Kanva Hospital, Anand Lab in Bangalore and KLE Hospital in Belgaum. Experts from the Union Health Ministry will inspect these hospitals/labs soon.

42 test positive in a day

In a record of sorts, as many as 42 people tested positive for the dreaded A(H1N1) influenza in the State on Saturday, reports DHNS from Bangalore. Thirty-eight of these cases were in Bangalore alone.

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