The GST will not be charged on the cost of food served to patients by hospitals as advised by doctors. As per GST law, health care services have been defined to include any service by way of diagnosis or treatment or care for illness, injury, deformity, abnormality or pregnancy in any recognised system of medicine in India.
However, patients not admitted will have to pay tax on the total value of food served by the hospital. The food supplied to in-patients are not separately taxable as they form part of the composite supply of healthcare, which is exempt under the GST. The entire amount charged by hospitals from the patients, including the retention money and the fee/payments made to the doctors etc, is towards the healthcare services provided by the hospitals to the patients and is exempt from GST.