Hyderabad: In the ongoing second phase of the vaccination drive against the Coronavirus disease, the union government permitted the private hospitals and facilities to vaccinate the beneficiaries with the anti-Covid vaccine.
The Centre fixed the vaccine dose price at Rs 250. However, a few hospitals and facilities have been charging extra money for the vaccine doses than the price fixed by the union government.
Director of Public Health Dr. Srinivasa Rao was angry with the owners of the hospitals after receiving several complaints. Orders were issued revoking the corona vaccination permit for three private hospitals. A complaint was lodged against a few other hospitals and an inquiry was ordered with the district medical officer.
It is well known that the corona vaccine program is open to all people over the age of 60 and all chronic patients aged 45–59. While all of them are being vaccinated free of cost in government hospitals, the cost of vaccination in private hospitals is Rs. 250 only. The central government has made it clear that only Rs 100 can be charged under the service charge and the rate of vaccine is fixed at Rs 150.
However, some private hospitals have also agreed to the Telangana government's request to reduce the burden on the public by not levying service charges at all.
Some hospitals ignore the request and charge Rs.500 instead of Rs.250. Many are complaining to the medical department about this. It was in this context that a prominent hospital in Banjara Hills came under the scanner and the authorities gave them a fitting reply.
Upon questioning an employee of the hospital said that they were checking the Blood Pressure before vaccinating and that they were giving the vaccine only after knowing the health condition of those who came in and that was why they were charging an additional Rs 250.
However, it is common practice to check the health status of the beneficiary before vaccination. However, authorities asked if it is necessary to charge a fee for that. Medical groups have questioned the concept.
The paramedics did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The vaccination permit issued to the hospital was revoked. Vaccine licenses have been revoked for two other private hospitals in the same area.
Telangana witnessed not less than 431 fresh Coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours. With this, the total toll of pandemic infections rose to 3,04,298. With two people breathing their last in 24 hours, the total casualties caused by the respiratory disease have mounted to 1,676.
The Health Director has also directed the health department officials to look into the complaints of hospitals charging extra amounts. He said, hospitals charging more amounts will be barred from vaccinating.