Telangana government slaps notices on 64 'greedy' hospitals

Telangana government slaps notices on 64 ‘greedy’ hospitals

Telangana government slaps notices on 64 ‘greedy’ hospitals


Names kept under wraps for reasons better known to officials!

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has finally cracked the whip against private hospitals, which have been levying exorbitant charges on patients for Covid-19 treatment. According to Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao, the department has received complaints of overcharging in regard to 64 hospitals.

The department has issued show-cause notices asking them for explanation within 24 hours. Earlier, the authorities had issued notices to 26 hospitals taking the total figure to 90.

While the officials for reasons best known to them are keeping the names of the hospitals which have been served notices under wraps, it is learnt that all these 64 hospitals have been asked to submit original bills.

The department will examine if the charges were levied as per the GO that was issued by the government prescribing rates for various procedures. The government had fixed rates for beds, nursing care, PPE kits, medicines, etc.

There have been complaints that though the nurses in ICU use same PPE kit during their duty time to take care of all the patients in the ward, each patient is charged full rates for the PPE kits.

Since the nurse uses only one kit for all patients, the cost of the kit should be distributed among all the patients. All these issues will be investigated by the department when these hospitals submit the original bills. If found guilty their licences would be cancelled, Rao said.

The complaints were received on a helpline number and other social media sources provided by the department earlier this month. However, the fact is that while all major private hospitals charged around Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per day, smaller hospitals charged anything above Rs 50,000 per day.

These hospitals used to ask the patients attendants to get injections like Remdesivir which were purchased in the black market.

Complaints of overcharging had come not only from Hyderabad but also from across the state. Hyderabad tops with a total of 39 complaints and Medchal and Malkajgiri 22, Rangareddy 15, Warangal Urban 7, Sangareddy 2, Mahbubnagar 1, Nizamabad 1, Yadadri Bhongir 1.

Six hospitals in Kukatpally, five in Begumpet were served with multiple notices. Almost 1,200 hospitals in the state were permitted to treat Covid patients during the second wave. There have also been many complaints about hospitals not handing over dead bodies till the exorbitant bills were cleared.

The Director appealed to the people to register complaints on WhatsApp helpline 9154170960 for overcharging or any other problem.

It may be mentioned here that some had even approached the Human Rights Commission for overcharging. The TSHRC issued orders to a private hospital from Jagtial district to charge according to the GO issued by the state government.

Incidents of patients' relatives attacking some hospitals following excess billing and refusal to hand over dead bodies till bills were cleared were also witnessed during the second wave. On Thursday, one such incident took place at Virinchi hospital in Hyderabad.

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