While a stint in a hospital may not exactly count as a vacation and come with the finest red wines, Karnataka government begs to differ.
In a bizarre move, the state has enforced a luxury tax on Intensive Care Units (ICUs), at hospitals. Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka and hub of medical care in the state is home to world-class hospitals like Apollo, Fortis and Manipal. The tax would be levied at 8% per bed priced above Rs. 1000. Given most ICU beds cost anywhere between 3000 to upwards of 5000, this tax would set back probably every single ICU- occupant, and their families by an additional few hundreds. Hospitals already do charge a luxury tax on an air-conditioned private room.
Justifying the decision, a senior official told TOI, “this is in continuation of the existing order that prescribes imposition of luxury tax on deluxe and super-deluxe rooms of hospitals. The hospitals collect more money from patients on the pretext of providing various facilities in these rooms and it is natural that these have to be taxed.”
Next time you or someone you love is in a critical stage, battling for their lives in an ICU, the already exorbitant hospital bills coupled with the additional luxury tax, won’t make for happy hospital visits.