The government on June 8 fixed the maximum price that private hospitals can charge for each dose of Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V vaccines against COVID-19 at private hospitals.
The hospitals can charge a maximum of Rs 780 for a dose of Covishield, Rs 1,410 for a dose of Covaxin, and Rs 1,145 r a dose of Sputnik-V vaccine, according to the order issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The move comes amid allegations of profiteering against private hospitals.
The cost includes taxes as well as Rs 150 service charge for the hospitals.
The order comes after the Ministry issued revised guidelines for vaccination earlier in the day. The guidelines said that each manufacturer would declare the price of vaccines for private hospitals, and any subsequent change would be notified in advance.
In his televised address on June 7, Prime Minister Modi announced a new centralised policy for vaccination, according to which the vaccines will be provided for free to all eligible persons in government-run hospitals. However, the vaccine manufacturers can provide vaccines directly to private hospitals, as per the new policy. This has been restricted to 25 per cent of the manufacturer’s monthly production.
The rates announced by the government are based on the current prices declared by the manufacturer of the three vaccines. They could be suitably modified in future if manufacturers change the prices, said the office memorandum signed by Health Ministry’s additional secretary and addressed to all additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, secretaries of health and family welfare departments of states and Union Territories.
The Centre has also asked the states not to allow private hospitals to levy more than Rs 150 as a service charge. The state governments have to monitor the private hospitals regularly, and strict action will be taken against any private vaccination centre for overcharging as per the rules.
The government said earlier that it had placed an order for 44 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses. This includes 25 Crore Covishield from Serum Institute of India and 19 Crore doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech.