The KCR government has started cracking its whip on private hospitals overcharging Covid-19 patients in violation of its order capping the cost of treatment for such patients.
On Monday, the Telangana government issued a notice banning Deccan Hospital from admitting New patients on complaints that the hospital was fleecing Covid-19 patients. The government found that the hospital was charging lakhs of rupees to treat patients infected by the deadly corona virus.
The government had passed an order capping the charges on the private hospitals, including corporate hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The chargez cannot exceed Rs 4,000 per day in normal wards (including isolation), Rs 7,500 in Intensive Care Units (ICU) without ventilator and Rs 9,000 with ventilator support. The charges include monitoring (of patient) and investigations like CBC, urine routine, anti-HIV, ultrasound, ECG, 2D Echo, X-ray etc, apart from drugs, consultations, bed charges, meals and procedures like urinary tract catheterisation among others.
COVID-19 testing – to be done as per actual cost fixed by the state government at Rs 2,200.
Chief secretary Somesh Kumar had warned of serious action against any lab or diagnostic centre or any private hospital found exploiting people or patients by over-charging or levying extra charges.
Deccan Hospital is the first hospital in the state to be blacklisted. Earlier, the High Court had served notices to four private corporate hospitals including Medicover hospital, Yashoda Super Speciality hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Care Hospital in Hyderabad over allegations of excessive charges. The move to blacklist the hospital serves as a warning to erring corporate hospitals for overcharging Covid-19 patients.
The overcharging by corporate hospitals has led to severe distress among families approaching private corporate hospitals in Telangana for coronavirus treatment.
The exploitation comes at a time the number of Covid-19 positive cases have been rising in the state with nearly 90% of cases being reported in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The Telangana government was not inclined to give permissions to corporate hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 patients on the grounds that they will fleece patients, the High Court directed the government to allow private hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.
IT minister K T Rama Rao recently expressed deep anguish over complaints of overcharging Covid-19 patients by corporate hospitals.