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Private hospitals cashing in on dengue scare

Registered medical practitioners are acting like touts between private hospitals and people for a small payment

Published: 17th September 2012 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2012 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

The dengue scare among the people came in as a boon for private hospitals in the districts of Chittoor, Nellore, Kadapa and Anantapur.

Despite of frequent warnings from medical and health officials, the private hospitals are treating the patients in the name of dengue without proper diagnosis.

For instance, about 60 patients approached the RIMS Hospital in Kadapa seeking treatment for dengue fever in the past couple of months after various private hospitals told them that they were suffering with dengue. “As most of these patients could not afford the costs in private hospitals, they approached the RIMS for treatment and were relieved to know that they did not have dengue but it was only a normal viral fever,” said a senior doctor at the RIMS.

It is not the case of only those 60 people, hundreds of patients are undergoing treatment at various private hospitals in the four districts. As dengue is prevalent mostly in rural areas, the Registered Medical Practioners (RMP) are creating panic among patients and getting them admitted to various private hospitals. They are acting like touts between the private hospitals and the people, for small payment from corporate and private hospitals.

“Many RMP and other local doctors are having an agreement with the corporate hospitals to encash the dengue scare among the common public,” admitted another doctor on condition of anonymity.

Surprisingly, the district medical and health officials are downplaying the intensity of dengue prevalence instead of taking measures to curb the viral fevers. However, Kadapa and Nellore district medical officials have denied of reporting any dengue case in these two districts. But according to sources, at least 25 people are undergoing treatment in various private hospitals in Udyagiri constituency in Nellore district.

In Bejjampalli village, as many as eight people are suffering from dengue and are undergoing treatment in Vijaya Hospital of Chennai, where one of the patient Krishna Reddy’s condition is stated to be critical.

A modest estimation says that at least 36 patients are undergoing dengue treatment in private hospitals in Tirupati and surrounding areas. Although, only two hospitals, Bollineni Superspeciality and Narayana Medical College Hospital have all the facilities including platelets transfusion, much required for treating dengue patients. As a result, many patients are visiting Chennai or Bengaluru for treatment.

However, the medical and health department officials are denying any major outbreak of dengue fevers even as the Chittoor district officially recorded about 190 dengue cases, highest by any of the four districts while Anantapur district recorded 20 cases officially. But, unofficially, number of dengue cases in both the districts is said to be more than 1,000. The Madanapalle revenue division alone in Chittoor district recorded about 140 Dengue cases officially.

A top official from Madanapalle municipality told Express that though three persons died with dengue fever, the district medical and health officials were refusing to consider it.

Interestingly, the dengue cases reported at SVR Ruia Hospital also confirm this. The hospital registered 155 dengue cases since Aug this year and the hospital authorities affirm that the total dengue cases could be more than 190 as reported by the district medical and health officials. Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Science (SVIMS) and other hospitals are also having platelet transfusion in Tirupati.

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