Kerala to impose Rs 14-lakh fine on private hospital for fleecing Covid patient

The state government will impose a fine of Rs 14 lakh on a private hospital that overcharged a Covid patient referred by the district collectorate for free treatment. 

Published: 01st March 2022 06:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st March 2022 06:30 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image of a healthcare worker collecting a nasal swab for Covid testing.

Representational image of a healthcare worker collecting a nasal swab for Covid testing. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will impose a fine of Rs 14 lakh on a private hospital that overcharged a Covid patient referred by the district collectorate for free treatment. This follows the intervention of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC). Bhuvanendran, of Mannarakonam, Vattiyoorkavu, was treated at the Sushrutha Medical Centre at Pothencode for six days starting May 12, 2021. His son Anand said in his petition to the SHRC that the hospital collected Rs 58,695 from the patient’s insurance and charged Rs 84,013 from the patient. 

This is against the rule which prohibits empanelled hospitals from charging fees from patients referred by the Covid cell in the collectorate. But the hospital charged a total sum of Rs 1,42,708 from the patient.  The district medical officer said in the report that the health department would impose a fine 10 times the amount collected from the patient. A show-cause notice has been served on the hospital and has been asked to reply within 15 days.

On its part, the hospital told the commission that it was empanelled only on May 21 and that it cannot give free treatment to a patient before the empanelling. The DMO’s report had also cited overcharging by the hospital for PPE kits and masks. It had charged Rs 20,675 for PPE kits and Rs 1,950 for N95 masks. This too was a violation of the rules, the report said.



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