In a laudable move, the Andhra Pradesh government announced free treatment for COVID-19 patients at private and corporate hospitals.
Falling under the state government health scheme named Dr YSR Arogyasri, it will cover below-poverty line (BPL) patients, state government employees, working journalists and pensioners.
“The decision was taken in the wake of reports that private hospitals were not admitting COVID-19 patients and there are instances of patients running from hospital to hospital,” special chief secretary (medical and health) K.S. Jawahar Reddy said in an order on Wednesday.
As per this scheme, the state government has identified a list of designated government and private hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients, completely free of cost.
“If the patient falls under the Dr YSR Arogyasri scheme, the treatment will be free and the government will reimburse the fee as per the fixed rates to the hospital management. Those who do not fall under the scheme will have to pay the charges as fixed by the government,” the special chief secretary said.
District collectors have been empowered to take over wards, rooms and blocks. As per requirement, an entire hospital may also be taken over.
Rates to be charged by private hospitals for regular COVID-19 patients have been fixed.