VIJAYAWADA: Despite the State government notifying private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients in a bid to reduce the burden on State Covid-19 hospital and fixed the treatment rates for both critical and non-critical patients, private hospital managements did not stop overcharging Covid-19 patients.
As many as 46 hospitals in various districts across the State were found flouting rules such as collecting overcharging the Covid-19 patients, misusing Remdesivir injections and admitting patients without permission in the raids conducted by the Vigilance and Enforcement (V&E) officials.
During the raids, the officials also noticed that a few hospitals are not treating patients under the Dr YSR Aarogyasri scheme despite the government’s strict instructions that 50 per cent beds in the hospital need to be allotted under Aarogyasri scheme.
To ensure that no hospital charged its patients in excess beyond the government prescribed prices, Vigilance and Enforcement department constituted flying squads with officials from Drug Control Administration (DCA) and medical and health department officials checked whether the government guidelines with respect to Covid-19 treatment are being followed.
According to sources, the Vigilance department has received more than 500 complaints against illegal practices of private hospitals through its helpline number and most of them turned out to be true. Majority of the complaints received from the public are about overcharging, misappropriation of Remdesiver injections, selling vials in the black market and denying treatment under Aarogyasri scheme.
The officials also said criminal cases were booked against 46 private hospitals for violating the government norms.
“In all the private hospitals, we set up a complaint box with a helpline number where the Covid-19 patients or their attendants can file a complaint with us. We are verifying all the complaints received and acting on it.