Telangana

‘Take over 50% beds of overcharging private hospitals’

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender.

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender has directed officials to prepare plans to take over 50% of beds in all private hospitals, including ICU beds, and to offer treatment as per government terms, if the managements of the private hospitals do not mend their ways regarding COVID-19 treatment charges. The directions were issued at a review meeting with Health officials held in Hyderabad on Monday.

Show cause notices were issued to all private hospitals in Hyderabad as complaints were received against almost all of them. Mr. Rajender has directed a committee to be formed to look into the response to the show cause notices, and to take action against erring hospitals.

The State government on June 15 issued a government order announcing the maximum rates chargeable by private hospitals for various services provided by them for COVID-19 treatment. The charges range between ₹ 4000-₹ 9000 per day depending on the ward and if ventilator support is provided. Some services were excluded such as charges for high-end medicines such as immunoglobulins.

The State Health department has announced a WhatsApp number 9154 147 0960, or 104 to lodge complaints against private hospitals.

However, large number of people complained that private hospitals are charging exorbitant amounts for COVID-19 treatment. A total of 1039 complaints were lodged through the WhatsApp number.

The complaints includes a) Excess bills; b) Money was collected without issuing bills; c) Patient was admitted only if ₹ 3 lakh to ₹ 4 lakh was paid in advance; d) Insurance policies, credit cards were not accepted; e) Proper services were not offered despite payment of money; f) Money was demanded to hand over the dead body.

The issues and action taken against private hospitals was discussed at a meeting with Central Team on Monday. Mr. Rajender said that the team members have suggested harsher measures, under Epidemics Diseases Act, to be taken against private hospitals if need be.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 6:11:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/take-over-50-beds-of-overcharging-private-hospitals/article32320262.ece

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