Similar to the capping of coronavirus test prices, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) on Friday fixed the charges on five radiological tests and 15 pathological tests which are conducted by private hospitals. The health department has issued an order asking all private hospitals with more than 150 beds to follow the order, which comes into force with immediate effect. Now, among radiological tests, a chest X-ray PA view has been capped at Rs 400, while the cap for an HRCT (128 slice CT scan) is Rs 5,200.
Among pathological tests, the Procalcitonin test cannot cost more than Rs 4,000, the upper limit for the IL-6 test has been fixed at Rs 3,500, for D-dimer, it is Rs 2,300.
According to the commission, the capping will be applicable to all patients including those who have tested positive for Covid-19. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many had complained about exorbitant rates of tests at private hospitals. Hence, the commission took the decision to cap the prices of the tests. The commission said it has been getting complaints of high charges for the tests, especially from Covid patients throughout the pandemic.
Two expert committees were formed to decide the maximum cost of an examination. The guidelines containing the fixed price of the tests have been issued by WBCERC on the basis of the recommendations received from the panels.
The rates will also be applied to all the hospitals in the states having accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
The guidelines have made it clear that the cost of these tests at a private hospital or pathological testing center is currently less than the prescribed cost and these costs cannot be increased now.