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More plaints of overcharging by hospitals emerge

 Several complaints have been raised from across the district on private hospitals fleecing Covid patients.

Published: 11th May 2021 05:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2021 05:55 AM   |  A+A-

A worker collects a senior citizen’s swab sample for Covid testing | File pic

By Express News Service

KOLLAM: Several complaints have been raised from across the district on private hospitals fleecing Covid patients. A private hospital in Kollam has handed over a bill of Rs 3.32 lakh to a Covid patient for 19 days of treatment while another private hospital has charged a bill of around Rs 5 lakh from one of their Covid patients.

These are not the lone two cases, there are many such cases across the state where hospitals are charging exorbitant amounts from patients. In a complaint filed by Junaid, the patient’s relative, to the DMO, he has informed that one of the private hospitals has charged around Rs 5 lakh for 19 days’ treatment. After recovery, the 50-year-old patient’s relative was handed over a bill of Rs 5.10 lakh on May 7. She is still in the hospital as she could not pay this bulk amount, said her relative.

The relative also added that, in the bill, the hospital has charged Rs 2000 as consultation fee for a doctor’s visit in ICU. If the doctor had visited the patient twice, they would have charged Rs 4000. “We were asked to pay Rs 45,000 advance during the admission, which we did, and were also informed about the daily charge in ICU will be Rs 12,000. But later, on the discharge day, we were shocked to see such a huge amount as it was more than the mentioned amount. Hence, we have filed a complaint to the police, DMO and the collector,” said Junaid. However, in another case, where the patient was charged Rs 3.32 lakh from a different hospital in Kollam, the room rent and nursing service charge itself cost him around Rs 1 lakh. 

Meanwhile, the hospital authorities informed that no extra charges have been levied from the patient. “Our hospital has admitted the 50-year-old patient woman, who arrived here in a critical condition after she was rejected by four major hospitals in the district. The patient was kept in the ICU for 12 days and required ventilator support for nine days. After that, she was provided with intermittent oxygen and the last three days back she fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital. 

The patient was accommodated in a deluxe room. No extra charges have been levied from the patient, normally in any other private hospital, if a patient had spent 12 days in ICU and nine days in a ventilator, the charges would have been more than Rs 10 lakh,” said a higher authority with the hospital. The doctor added that the patient wanted to continue in the hospital as she said she would leave the hospital only after the High Court order is out on Monday. “We are giving 24-hour service in a well-equipped room rather than in a makeshift space. While many hospitals are charging a high rate for treating patients in such makeshift wards,” said the official.



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