Karnataka: Covid patients were fleeced Rs 19 crore in private hospitals
Sources in the health department also revealed that it has received complaints against 65 government hospitals for charging money from patients during Covid treatment.
Published: 22nd August 2022 04:48 AM | Last Updated: 22nd August 2022 04:48 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Sunday said that Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust (SAST), under the state health department, has received complaints against 577 private hospitals for charging Rs 18.87 crore extra from Covid patients, besides claiming funds from SAST for giving free treatment to these patients referred by the government, under the Ayushman Bharath Arogya Karnataka (ABARK) scheme.
Stating that these hospitals have been served notices, Dr Sudhakar said, “So far, SAST has recovered Rs 1,58,22,359 from these hospitals and refunded it to 403 patients.” A source in SAST said the process of refunding the remaining amount to other patients was underway and it has docked some funds which had to be released to some private hospitals for treating patients under ABARK.
65 govt hospitals also charged more
Dr Sudhakar said, “Under the ABAR K scheme, SAST has paid Rs 391.26 crore to private hospitals during the first wave from March 2020 to March 2021 and Rs 376.76 crore during the second wave from April 2021 to December 2021.
During the third wave, Rs 11.80 crore has been paid between January and March 2022.” Sources in the health department also revealed that it has received complaints against 65 government hospitals for charging money from patients during Covid treatment.
Besides, 68 complaints have been received against 54 hospitals for charging more than the cost of the package for Covid treatment capped by the government. “As many as 53 of these complaints were from Bengaluru and 10 of them were from other districts. These hospitals have collected bills of Rs 1,86,79,995 from the aggrieved patients, while a few hospitals have refunded Rs 10,35,859 to five patients so far,” a source said.