Hyderabad: The All Super Speciality Hospitals Association and the Andhra Pradesh Nursing Homes’ Association have appealed to the government to waive the luxury tax of 12.5 per cent currently being levied on patients in Intensive Care and Intensive Coronary Care units.
While some hospitals are adding the taxes in their bills as medical management charges others are directly collecting it as luxury tax for remitting to the government. The tax was imposed in April 2013. Though it has been opposed since then, due to the political unrest in the state, the file is still pending with the Chief Minister.
Dr Krishna Prasad of the Andhra Pradesh Nursing Homes’ Association says, “We have to face the anger of patients’ relatives. They are shocked when the bills show luxury tax while it is clear that they have not come to the hospital for a holiday. The government charges luxury tax on deluxe and super deluxe rooms which are chosen on the basis of affordability.
But ICU and ICCU are essentials taken because of need. The care given there is due to medical requirements. We have given a detailed explanation on behalf of the Association but the file is pending in the Chief Minister’s Office.”
As long as the government does not clarify, hospitals have no other option but to collect the tax despite protests. A senior officer of ASHA hospitals explained, “We would like to waive it as it is a burden on patients.
As hospital administrators, we feel that the luxury tax is a punishment for the patient.” The luxury tax collected from 145 ASHA hospitals and 1,000 APNA hospitals comes to about `200 crore annually.