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Congress demands new law to regulate private/corporate hospitals

Congress demands new law to regulate private/corporate hospitals
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The Congress party on Monday demanded that the Telangana Government constitute of a Regulatory Authority to control/monitor the functioning of private/corporate hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and diagnostic centres across the Telangana State.

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Monday demanded that the Telangana Government constitute of a Regulatory Authority to control/monitor the functioning of private/corporate hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and diagnostic centres across the Telangana State.

Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, a delegation of Congress leaders met Minister for Medical, Health & Family Welfare Etala Rajender at his residence today and submitted a representation. They referred to Health Minister's recent statement wherein he accused some private hospitals of fleecing the patients by spreading the fear of Dengue with the sole intention of making profits. "While we don't endorse your contention that there are no Dengue cases, we agree that almost all corporate hospitals are extorting huge money from poor patients and their families. It is nothing but organised loot happening without any fear of law where an entire family is getting robbed in the name of treatment," the Congress leaders said in their representation.

Speaking to media persons later, Abdullah Sohail said that the Congress delegation apprised the Health Minister of how corporate/private hospitals were taking advantage of absence of a mechanism to monitor their activities. "There is no one to crosscheck the treatment being given to patients and the charges which are being collected from them. Right from Registration Fee to the complicated surgical procedures, everything is highly costly and no one has the authority to question them. There are several cases wherein hospitals declared the death after several hours or even days just to increase the billing for ventilator and other charges," he said.

He informed that the Congress party leaders have recently met the heads of many corporate hospitals in the city requesting them to streamline their billing processes and address the grievances of over-charging by patients. "Although the hospital managements have agreed to look into the issue, but we suspect that they would do nothing in this regard," he said.

Therefore, Abdullah Sohail said that the Health Minister has been urged to constitute a high-level independent panel, headed by a sitting judge of the High Court and comprising of medical and accounting professionals, to look into all the aspects and suggest means to control/monitor pricing by private and corporate hospitals. "Based on their suggestions, the State Government may come up with a new Regulatory Law to handle the menace. A Regulatory Commission might also be set up so that the patients who are cheated by the hospitals might approach it seeking justice," he said.

Abdullah Sohail said that the Health Minister has given an assurance that he would look into our request and take appropriate action.

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