Hyderabad Hospital Charged Rs 96,000 For PPE Kits From COVID Patient, Not The First Such Case
Hospitals overcharging patients is not anything new but during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has reached such levels where common people cannot afford to get treatment private in hospitals.
Despite several state governments capping the cost of treatment in private hospitals, they still find ways around it to charge high amounts from patients.
According to Vijay Gopal, an anti-corruption activist from Hyderabad, a private hospital in the city had charged Rs 3,32,682 for 12 days of COVID treatment of a 52-year-old patient. Out of this, the cost of PPE kits alone was Rs 96,000. The patient had been admitted to the hospital on July 13 and was discharged by July 25.
“The PPE kits together have cost Rs 96,000. This is not under the price cap. In some other private hospitals, they are charging upto Rs 8,000 per kit,” Gopal was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
In his complaint to the Director of Public Health Gopal demanded that government must ensure that such hospitals, charging above MRP for PPE kits must pay a fine.
Recently another hospital in the city had charged Rs 2.23 lakh for 246 PPE kits, which is Rs 910 per kit.
Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender had recently said that the office of DPH has received at least 1,039 complaints against several private hospitals in the past few weeks, and most of them were about overcharging.
Due to the rising number of complaints, Telangana government has now directed these hospitals to display the rates/charges of their various services at prominent places of the hospital for the benefit of patients. These rates/charges should be applicable as of December 31, 2019.
According to an order by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare on Monday, high-end drugs and PPE (personal protection equipment) kits excluded from the package prices have to be charged at MRP only.
While discharging the patients, the bills have to be given to them as certain complaints have been received stating that detailed invoices have not been given.
"Any deviations from these instructions will be viewed seriously and action will be initiated," the order said.
The state government had earlier issued orders capping rates being charged by the private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.