Andhra Pradesh

Private hospitals fleecing COVID-19 patients, alleges CPI(M) leader

Despite tall claims being made by the government on providing better treatment to the COVID-19 patients in the State, some private doctors are fleecing those who tested positive by collecting huge amounts from them, according to CPI (M) State secretariat member Ch. Babu Rao.

“The incident at Swarna Palace is an evidence on how the hotels and hospitals got colluded and are collecting huge amounts on the pretext of COVID-19 treatment,” said Mr. Babu Rao.

The CPI (M) leader, who visited the spot, blamed the district administration and the government for the fire accident in which ten patients were killed and 20 others injured in the early hours of August 9.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Babu Rao said the government issued GO.77 bringing COVID treatment under the Arogyasri. But, no hospital, registered under it, was providing treatment to the patients free of cost. “Pathetic situation prevails in COVID Hospitals in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram and other hospitals and care centres in AP,” he alleged.

“There is no security and safety in private COVID quarantine centres in the State. Some hospitals are collecting ₹30,000 to ₹75,000 and above (depending on the condition of the patient) from COVID patients. Officials are giving permission to the quarantine centres within few hours without verifying safety measures,” Mr. Babu Rao alleged.

Visit of teams

Meanwhile, the teams which visited the COVID hospitals and private quarantine centres across the State in the last two days after the blaze in Ramesh Hospitals COVID care centre, observed that many hospitals and quarantine centres sans fire and other safety measures.

“In Krishna district, there is no fire NOC in many hospitals. There are no fire and smoke detectors, ladders, water sumps, hose reels and other equipment in emergency,” said an officer, who is probing the fire accident case.

“I got discharged from a private quarantine centre. The hospital staff gave two glasses of milk mixed with pepper, two glasses of ginger juice with jaggery, four boiled eggs, vitamin-C tablets, a cup of dry fruits and hot water every day. Doctor visited twice every day, examine the patients and conducted a couple of small tests. The hospital management collected ₹30,000 per day,” said a patient who recovered and discharged from a quarantine centre recently.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 5:22:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/private-hospitals-fleecing-covid-19-patients-alleges-cpim-leader/article32330007.ece

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