The Maharashtra government's move to cap CT scan test rates comes at a time when doctors have been relying heavily on CT scans to diagnose COVID-19 patients and assess the damage done to their lungs.
The Maharashtra government informed on September 15 that it has set up a four-member panel to fix Computerised Tomography (CT) scan rates. The decision was taken after multiple complaints were received on overcharging by HRCT scan centres and private hospitals in the state, reported Mint.
A CT scan of the chest usually costs Rs 5,000 upwards in private facilities. The cost of CT scans can vary from Rs 4,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on the rate chart of the scan centre and part of the body being scanned, a doctor who works for a government hospital told Moneycontrol.
A committee headed by Dr Sudhakar Shinde, who is the CEO of the State Health Guarantee Society, will be fixing the HRCT scan rates. The rates will be fixed following discussion with private hospitals and HRCT scan centres. A report on the matter will be submitted within seven days.
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The coalition government in Maharashtra had earlier capped all coronavirus test rates, namely the RT-PCR test, the rapid antigen test, and the antibody test.
The news comes at a time when doctors have been relying heavily on CT scans to diagnose COVID-19 patients and assess the damage done to their lungs. However, there are many doctors who have been urging people not to take expensive chest CT scans to detect COVID-19. Indian Express quoted Dr Jitendra Oswal, Deputy Medical Director, Bharati Hospital, as saying: "A CT chest scan has been increasingly used as one of the first investigations of diagnosis for COVID-19. Unfortunately, there are limitations as CT findings — though sensitive — are not specific for COVID-19."Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here