Karnataka hospitals that overcharge patients to be fined Rs 5 lakh with 3 years jail term

karnataka | 14 June 2017 3:33 AM (UTC)
kumuda k
  • Private medical establishments cannot charge over and above the fixed rate
  • The state government introduces amendment to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment Bill), 2017
  • Hospitals are required to declare the fares at prominent places in their premises

Private medical institutions in the state cannot have their way in fixing treatment fares, in future. For, the state government will determine the treatment fares that includes consultation and even surgery at private hospitals. Violators will be slapped with up to Rs 5 lakh fine and imprisonment of six months to three years.

Also, the hospitals, henceforth cannot demand advance payment from patients or the relatives of patients in case of emergency treatment, reports Kannada Prabha. Besides, the hospitals cannot hold up the dead bodies for want of clearance of dues by the patients, the bill states.

Health Minister K Ramesh Kumar has introduced an amendment bill to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment Bill), 2017 in this effect on Tuesday at the Session. The bill follows a recommendation of a panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge Vikramajit Sen. The bill authorises the state government to fix the rate for treatment provided in private hospitals. The hospitals have to follow the price chart provided by the state government and cannot overcharge it.

The bill requires the private hospitals to declare treatment fares prominently at the hospital premises and they cannot charge over and above the prices fixed by the government. The government fixed rate applies not just to treatment but also for investigation, bed charges, operation theatre procedure, intensive care, implants and consultation procedure. A proper estimate for treatments should be provided by the private hospitals and the final bill should not exceed the estimates given by the hospital.

However, the state government is likely to face stiff resistance from the private hospitals' lobby as the new bill - if passed - will have far-reaching implications on their business, reports Bangalore Mirror.



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