Hospitalisation cost lowest in Karnataka among southern states

Hospitalisation cost lowest in Karnataka among southern states

Hospitalisation cost in Karnataka – both in the rural and urban areas – is the lowest among the southern states, says a report from the Union Health Ministry.

The average hospitalisation cost per person is Rs 12,578 in rural Karnataka whereas the figure increases to Rs 15,011 in the urban settings. The cost that includes both medical and non-medical expenditures is the least among the six southern states.

While Goa (Rs 32,211 in rural and Rs 37,049 in urban areas) is the costliest on both counts, the hospitalisation charges for urban areas of Andhra Pradesh (Rs 33,671), Maharashtra (Rs 26,374) and Kerala (Rs 24,202) are also on the higher side, according to the report prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) under the Union Health Ministry.

Karnataka is closely followed by Tamil Nadu in terms of affordability. Hospital stay in urban Tamil Nadu would cost Rs 15,751 while in rural areas of the southern-most state it would cost Rs 12,648 per person on an average.

The findings of the CBHI report, released in March, assume significance in the wake of a recent incident in Delhi where a reputed private hospital – Fortis in Gurugram – has been accused of extreme over-billing by the parents of a seven-year-old girl, who died after being kept in the ICU for 15 days for dengue. The hospital charged nearly Rs 16 lakh.

A second hospital – Max in Delhi – is also in the eye of storm because of declaring a seven-month-old baby dead, though it was found to be alive few hours later and died in another hospital after a week. In this case also the baby's father accused the hospital of scaring him with the threat of a huge bill.

"Trust is the foundation of a doctor and patient relationship. The medical profession is undergoing certain changes. Introspection is needed on the part of doctors and hospitals, failing which this trust may take a long time to re-establish," said K K Agarwal – president of the Indian Medical Association – India's biggest association of doctors.

IMA has asked the government to classify all disposables under both NLEM (national list of essential medicine) and non-NLEM categories and cap the price of essential ones. "Till then all medical establishments should sell the disposables at procurement price after adding a predefined fixed margin," he said.

Since doctors are often accused of over investigation, IMA chief said that all investigations are to be done preferably after informing the patient parties and hospitals shouldn't set any targets on the use of diagnostics facilities for the doctors on their payrolls.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry