May 16, 2021

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Don’t touch the sky

2 to 5 lakh rupees in a private medium hospital, 5 to 10 lakh rupees in a star hospital, many are raising money with loans.
Coronavirus patients and their families are struggling to pay for medical treatment. The cost of public or private hospitals for the treatment of Kavid-19 is not less than the cost of medicines from home. The concerned people said that even though the treatment is provided free of cost in the government hospitals, the patients have to bear the cost of high cost medicines. The cost of the ICU bed for the treatment of Kavid sufferers starts from Rs 25,000 per day to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh depending on the type of treatment. There are also allegations of high fees being charged in private hospitals. It is not possible for many to bear the cost of oxygen in a private hospital in one day.

In this situation, the patient’s family is running the medical expenses by taking a loan. Some are leaving the hospital early for fear of cost, despite the need to stay in the hospital. To cover the medical expenses, the patient and his family are borrowing money from credit cards and relatives by using the money deposited in the bank. Shafiqur Rahman, a 60-year-old businessman from Uttara in the capital, tested positive for corona in March and was admitted to a medium-sized private hospital in Uttara. As the oxygen saturation decreased rapidly, Shafiqur was kept in a special cavid unit of the hospital and a special injection (Avastin) costing Rs. This businessman has to stay in ICU for one week. Later, if Kavid Ward and Corona are negative, they are sent to the general cabin. In all, after staying in the hospital for more than two weeks, his medical expenses including medicines stood at around Tk 5 lakh. Three days after Shafiqur Rahman’s Kavid tested positive, his wife Jobaida Akhter also contracted corona. Although Zobaida did not need to be taken to hospital, the treatment she received from home was expensive. A tablet called ‘Favilar’ is given at 6 in the morning and 8 at night on the first day. The price of a tablet is 2 thousand rupees. Zobaida has to take about 50 tablets a week. All in all, the Shafiqur couple has to spend a good amount of money for the treatment of Corona. Shamiur Rahman, the son of an employee of the businessman, told Bangladesh Pratidin that the cost of this huge amount of treatment is definitely a big issue for the family of Kavid.

Nasreen Akhter, a housewife, said that she had to be treated at the hospital for a week due to cavities. The hospital had to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for this. But Nasreen did not receive high flow oxygen services. Nasreen’s Kavid positive husband Nazim also needs ICU support. This further increases the couple’s medical expenses. In all, they have to stay in the hospital for three days a month. Nasreen was released from the cabin in eight days, but her husband had to stay for a month or two. In all, they have to pay Tk 13 lakh to the hospital for their medical expenses. Even after returning home, Nasreen’s husband has to go through various medical procedures. In all, their total cost is 16 lakh rupees.

Talking to the corona medical staff, it is known that the average daily rent of a cabin bed in Dhaka is Tk. And the average bed rent is 4 to 5 thousand rupees. And in good quality hospitals, the bed rent of a corona patient is 7 to 8 thousand rupees. In addition to the cost of medicines, the cost of oxygen, food, staff, nurses and everything else has to be paid to the patient separately.
Many private hospitals now do not have ordinary beds. Ordinary beds have been converted to ICU. It is being made into an ICU bed by installing two devices in the cabin bed. And if you are in ICU, you have to pay extra machine bill, oxygen bill. In other words, the daily cost of a cabin bed in a general hospital is Rs 6,000 with all the expenses including medicines being Rs 10,000 on an average. If you stay in the ICU of the same hospital there, the average cost will be 30 to 40 thousand rupees. The rent of ordinary beds in private hospitals in Dhaka is 5 to 10 thousand rupees daily. And the cost of ICU and SDU beds starts from 8 to 25 thousand rupees daily. In addition to renting beds in private hospitals, a separate 25 per cent service charge is added for the services of nurses, ward boys and doctors. In an average hospital (Popular, LabAid, Anwar Khan Medical) the average bill exceeds Rs. And in a high quality hospital (Square, Evercare, United) if a patient stays for five days, the average medical cost is more than 5 lakh rupees. In the case of such patients, it is seen that even if they are in the cabin, they sometimes have to be taken to the ICU. And just staying in the cabin reduces the total cost by 50 percent.

Dhaka Medical College Hospital Medical Officer and Corona Researcher. Md. Saleh Mahmud Tushar told Bangladesh Pratidin that he had also seen patients who had gone to government hospitals after spending three days in the hospital unable to afford basic medical services. He said there is no policy on how much the hospitals will be billed for corona treatment. However, it is unfortunate that even without quality medical services, many hospitals are charging extra for patients just for business.

Experts say it cannot be said that there is no medical cost in government hospitals. The cost of high-priced drugs has to be borne by the patient. There are some antibiotics (such as meropenem) that are given when the patient’s condition is critical. Due to the high cost of these drugs, the government hospital authorities cannot give the full dose of the drug to the patient. Again there are some expensive injections such as an injection to thin the blood (enoxapirin) that government hospitals are not always able to give to patients.The cost of one injection is 600 to 750 rupees. Which is to give one or two daily depending on the condition of the patient. And the price of a medicine of Meropenem is 1300 rupees. Which the patient has to do three times a day. Another antiviral drug called remediciv is usually given to a patient six times. The cost of each injection is 4 thousand rupees.

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