Private hospitals in Mancherial town of Telangana are fleecing Covid patients by handing out hefty bills that are much higher than the charges fixed by the government. They are allegedly charging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh for treatment of a Covid positive patient per day, according to a report in English daily.
A large number of nursing homes are said to be demanding unreasonable charges. They are citing the use of specialists, medical investigations and drugs for abnormal rates. They are flouting a slew of norms set by the government.
As per the State GO No. 248, hospitals are allowed to charge an amount of Rs 2,200 for RT-PCR test, Rs 2,800 for the same test at home, Rs 4,000 for treatment to a Covid-19 patient per day, Rs 7,500 if he or she is admitted in ICU and Rs 9,000 for the ventilator to the infected. The hospitals are expected to display the rates being charged.
Some hospitals are also taking advantage of the shortage of Remdesivir injections, oxygen and influx of patients from Maharashtra. They are charging Rs 30,000 to 70,000 for a vial of the drug. The patients are left with no option but to buy the injection to save their lives.
The victims have requested the authorities concerned to conduct raids to check the practice.
District Medical and Health Officer Dr Sriram said that stern action would be taken against hospitals if someone raises a complaint. He clarified that government would directly supply remdesivir injections and requested patients not to pay for it.