Hyderabad: Private hospitals continue to burn a hole in patients' pockets

Private hospitals continue to burn a hole in patients’ pockets
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Private hospitals continue to burn a hole in patients’ pockets

Highlights

Ignore GO 248, charge exorbitant rates for Covid treatment

Hyderabad: Complaints continue to pour in that private hospitals in Hyderabad are not following the rates fixed by the state government while extending treatment to Covid-19 patients. It may be mentioned here that the state government had issued GO No 248 fixing rates for various procedures in hospitals.

Sharing how the private labs and hospitals were openly looting the patients, Vani Dale, Sri Kakatiya School principal, residing in Malkajgiri says, "A majority of the hospitals are openly violating the cap imposed on prices of Covid19 treatment and charging Rs 15,000 to 75,000 for a single day treatment where the GO 248 permits the hospitals to charge Rs 4,000 for general isolation per day."

Besides charging exorbitant prices for treatment and beds, private hospitals ask the patients family members of the Covid-19 patients to arrange injections and medicines by themselves, which is more painful. How can a hospital expect patients to get medicines by themselves? They have to run after middlemen who charge three times the MRP. "We request the Telangana government to intervene and resolve this as soon as possible," she added.

Reminding about the pricing cap details as per the G O No 248, Dr Vijayender, General Secretary, Telangana Doctors Federation, said that the private hospitals should not charge more than Rs 4,000 for general ward and isolation per day, Rs 7,500 for ICU without ventilation and add-on isolation and Rs 9,000 for ventilation with ICU and isolation. For testing, the charges were fixed at Rs 2,200 per person at the lab or hospital and Rs 2,800 if the test was done at home."

"But in reality, private hospitals in the city are charging excessive amounts, as high as Rs 1.25 lakh and above for ICU beds per day. This has pushed the families into critical financial situation. Contrary to the claims of the government, no beds are available in government hospitals and people have no option but to go to private hospitals.

On Saturday, a patient Yemke Raju, father of Yemke Saritha, died at a private hospital in Bowenpally in Hyderabad after getting Covid-19 plasma treatment for two weeks. Saritha said that they were charged Rs 12.5 lakh for the treatment, which they managed to pay by mortgaging their agricultural land. There are also complaints from a private hospital in Jeedimetla, where the body was not handed over for about nine hours after the death as the victim's family members could not clear the bills.

Civil society volunteers claim that private hospitals are making profits by charging exorbitant fees from patients amid the raging pandemic. They are literally cashing in on the people's fear of Covid-19. If they can slash some of the rates and sacrifice part of their profit in view of the pandemic, things would be much better," said Santhosh, Founder, PHC (NGO).

But the corporate hospitals say that the people need to understand the entire staff was striving their best to save the life of patients and are admitting patients on first come first serve basis. There is a shortage of medicines and till recently even oxygen was a problem and hence they were forced to charge more than what has been prescribed by the government.

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