Visit the billing department of any private hospital and notice the people who are clearing their dues. If the patient has stayed for more than a night, the bill will easily run into five figures.
Healthcare is costly, and insurance doesn’t cover everything. Many of us, learn this lesson the hard way.
Fortunately, there might be some relief. The Government has directed that GST will not be charged on the cost of food served to patients, by hospitals, on the advice of doctors. This doesn’t cover the patients who have not been admitted.
The Revenue Department, via a series of FAQ’s, clarified a few crucial points:
No GST will be levied on goods and services provided by senior doctors/consultants, and technicians hired by the hospitals, as these are under healthcare services.
Food supplied to in-patients as advised by the doctor/nutritionists, is also a part of healthcare, and cannot be taxed separately. However, this does not apply to food supplied to attendants, visitors, or patients who have not been admitted.
The entire amount charged by hospitals from patients, including retention money, and doctor’s fees, is towards the healthcare services the hospital provides, thus making the amount exempt from GST.
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The GST law has defined healthcare services as those including any service by way of diagnosis, or treatment, or care for illnesses, injuries, deformities, abnormalities, or pregnancies, in any recognised system of medicine in India.