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Hyderabad: Private hospitals to be put under special body lens
Even as the possibility of a third wave is looming large, the State health department is yet to come up with a proper action plan to reign in the private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients
Hyderabad: Even as the possibility of a third wave is looming large, the State health department is yet to come up with a proper action plan to reign in the private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.
The department accepts that the private hospitals during second wave did not follow the tariff announced by the government and charged very heavily and there were cases when they had even refused to hand over the dead body unless the bills were cleared.
The department started taking some action only after the second wave started declining and made some hospitals to refund excess amount charged after some people went to High court. The High Court directed the state health department to make sure that the excess amount charged by the private hospitals' be refund to the victims.
But till date there has been no general policy of auditing the bills of Covid-19 patients treated in Private Hospitals by any government agency and ensure that the people do not get fleeced.
Director State Public Health Dr Srinivasa Rao said that "it was true that many hospitals during the second wave violated the norms. Permission to treat covid patients was withdrawn from 25 hospitals. The department also made them refund the excess amount and formed a helpline for complaints against overcharging.
He said that a special committee will be formed to monitor that the private hospitals follow the new tariff recently announced by the government. He said the committee members would visit the hospitals and will enquire from the attendants. Government helpline numbers will also be pasted on notice boards. Strict action will be taken against the hospitals found violating the rules.
To avoid overcharging by private hospitals, officials suggest that people should opt for government hospitals where the treatment was free. They further said that the government has plans to provide oxygen supply to all the beds in government hospitals to deal with any kind of eventuality. But the question is in case of a wave, can government hospitals alone meet the demand for beds. The second wave had proved that despite private hospitals being designated as covid hospitals, there was acute shortage of beds, experts say.
Meanwhile, Private hospitals association has expressed disappointment on the decision to derecognise some hospitals as Covid hospitals.
Speaking over the issue President Telangana Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (THANA) Dr Krishna Rao said that, it is impossible to treat Covid patients at price fixed by the government as the Doctors, nurses and non-medical staff is demanding 10 per cent extra to attend on the patients.