HYDERABAD: The office of the Director of Public Health (DPH) informed on Saturday that it received 27 more complaints against 15 private hospitals, mainly of excessive and inappropriate billing, mismanagement and lack of proper medical attention. This is in addition to the 88 complaints received against 64 hospitals on Wednesday informed a press release by the office of DPH. All the 79 hospitals against whom complaints have been received have been issued show cause notices.
The press release further said that the permission given to five hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients has been revoked. These hospitals are Image Hospital, Ameerpet, Ankura Hospital, LB Nagar, Sia Life Hospital, Kondapur, Panchavati Hospital, Bhoothpur, Mahabubnagar and Sai Siddartha Hospital in Shapurnagar, Sangareddy. This is in addition to a similar action taken against five other hospitals on Friday.The release further stated that any hospital found guilty of violating established protocols/norms/guidelines would be subjected to suitable disciplinary action.
Meanwhile, the Health Department in Khammam district seized three private hospitals and revoked the permission given to five private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients in the district, informed District Medical And Health Officer (DMHO) Dr B Malathi.
A task force formed in the district consisting of Health and Police Department officials, along with an IMA representative, has been conducting raids in private hospitals over the past few days, Speaking to Express, Dr Malathi said, ‘’We had given permission to 46 private hospitals in Khammam to treat Covid-19 patients. Action would be taken against any hospital found violating the government norms.” She added that the raids on hospitals would continue.
Inaction against corporate hospitals irks citizens
However, the Health Department’s moves have invited anger and ridicule from the public. The reason behind it being, although many well-known corporate hospitals have complaints against them, including 88 complaints of excessive and inappropriate billing, the list of ten hospitals penalised till now do not include these hospitals.
Yet to act against all hosps: Officials
Some of the corporate hospitals against whom complaints have been received include Sunshine Hospitals, Care Hospitals, KIMS Hospitals, Aster Prime Hospitals, Continental Hospital, Omni Hospital and Global Hospital.Apart from this, there are many hospitals against which people from Telangana have complained to the concerned Health authorities over Twitter. The crowdfunding site Milaap has multiple campaigns being run for paying bills of people admitted in various small and big private hospitals of Hyderabad, with lakhs due to be paid as bills.
One particular issue raised by many netizens on Twitter was Yashoda Hospitals being missing from the list of hospitals against which complaints have been received by the Health Department, although the hospital has been alleged of excessive billing since last year. Allegations accompanied with pictures of bills, complaining of excessive billing against the hospital, exist on Twitter by kin of patients who got treated there recently.
However, health officials have given an assurance that they are yet to crack the whip on many hospitals and are looking into all the complaints received till now.Speaking to Express, Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that apart from complaints received by the Health Department over the WhatsApp number, the State government was also going to take suo moto action against hospitals found collecting excess fees.
Dr Rao said, “The complaints from the kin of Covid-19 patients have increased as more and more patients are getting discharged from hospitals now. We have already started acting on the complaints. Additionally, suo motu cognisance will be taken of complaints against private hospitals in the city, to investigate if they are overcharging people.” When asked about Yashoda Hospital, Dr Rao admitted that complaints have been received against the hospital and said the department would initiate action against the hospital after an inquiry.