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Are price caps for COVID treatment need of the hour?

From many of us opting to go to private hospitals on a normal day, we have come to rely more on public health care now at the time of pandemic. On one hand, the public health system and hospitals have had to step up their game like never before to ensure that everyone has access to treatment. On the other hand, private hospitals need to be more affordable. Question today is “No matter where we go, at the time of a global pandemic, shouldn’t we all get fair and affordable treatment"?

State governments have started to cap prices of COVID-19 testing and treatment in private hospitals. Tamil Nadu did it first at the beginning of June, followed by Maharashtra and Telangana. A news channel exposing private hospitals in Chennai charging exorbitant fees for testing and treating COVID-19 triggered the action.

The Tamil Nadu government consulted with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), prior to announcing the price caps. In this episode, we reached out to IMA’s Tamil Nadu state branch’s president Dr. C. N. Raja to understand what went on behind this announcement.

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Are price caps for COVID treatment need of the hour?