As there are allegations that private hospitals in Telangana charge exorbitant amounts for the treatment of the novel Coronavirus infection, the state government has decided to intervene.
Coronavirus in Telangana: As there are allegations that private hospitals in Telangana charge exorbitant amounts for the treatment of the novel Coronavirus infection, the state government has decided to intervene. It has directed all private hospitals to display their charges within the hospitals to inform patients. The rates, according to the government, should be applicable as of December 31, 2019, according to a report by The Indian Express. High-end drugs and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) have been excluded from the packages, the hospitals have offered to COVID-19 patients. These have to be charged at the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and the hospitals will have to keep these prices on display as well. Hospitals will also have to give itemised bills to the patients, the report said citing the Public Health and Family Welfare office.
The state health minister Eatala Rajender revealed that the office of DPH has been receiving complaints against excessive prices of private hospitals. According to him, a minimum of 1,039 complaints (ranging from excessive billing, money asked in advance, refusal of admission or treatment, lack of proper medical care, to denial in accepting insurance/ credit card among others) have been registered with the government against several private hospitals.
In a review meeting, the health minister, as per the report, said that private hospitals will be warned of stringent action and if they fail to comply with treatment norms set by the government, over 50 per cent of beds (inclusive of ICU beds) will be taken over by the government.
The complaints led to the state government taking actions against two hospitals and barred them from treating COVID-19 patients. Both of these hospitals were found guilty of excessive billing, the report said. The order released by the Telangana government stated that there is a need to introduce transparency in treatment costs that private hospitals are charging and patients should be aware of it as well. Apart from displaying charges, itemised bills will also be given to patients for better clarity and deviating from these orders will result in strict actions as the government has announced a cap on treatment charges for COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Telangana has 84,544 confirmed cases for the Coronavirus infection and 22,596 cases are active and under treatment among these.