Private hospitals bleed patients white as dengue spreads in Telangana
The private hospitals, to make a fast buck, are admitting those who fear they have dengue and are fleecing them though they may not be having dengue.
NALGONDA: Patients are approaching private hospitals for treatment for dengue, shelling out their hard-earned money through rapid test kits that are available in Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in enough numbers. In the Nalgonda district, there are 33 PHCs where about 9,000 dengue rapid test kits are available. But the patients with high fever are rushing to private hospitals afraid that they may have contracted dengue.
The private hospitals, to make a fast buck, are admitting those who fear they have dengue and are fleecing them though they may not be having dengue. There are allegations that private hospitals are charging anywhere between Rs30,000 and Rs 1 lakh for treating dengue. A resident of Kangal, N Satthamma, said that when his son had a high fever, the local RMP advised her to take him to a private hospital in Nalgonda. At the hospital, the staff first charged Rs 1,500 for the test and then admitted him. After four days, they asked her to pay up to Rs 40,000 for treatment of dengue. Deputy Medical and Health Officer L Venugopal Reddy told TNIE that, about 9,120 dengue rapid test kits arrived in the district and they have been distributed to 34 PHCs across the district.
He said that when the result comes positive for the rapid test, the patient’s blood is sent for testing to the district headquarters hospital through the Telangana Diagnostic (TD) Hub vehicle. Daily, seven vehicles visit to collect blood samples for various purposes.
After receiving blood samples, the Elisa test is done at TD hub for dengue. The result will be sent to the patient’s mobile number through SMS and to the PHC concerned within three hours.
At the headquarters hospital, the equipment to boost blood platelets is available. If any patient’s platelet count is down by 30,000 and bleeding begins, he will be treated at the headquarters hospital. About 20 cases have been found in the district and they are progressing well.
The Deputy MHO said that the district collector directed private hospitals that if any dengue positive was found in the rapid test, blood samples of the patient should be sent for an Elisa test to the government headquarters hospital. He said if there were any complaints that the private hospitals were charging high, action would be taken against them after inquiry. District Collector RV Karnan told TNIE that out of 15,87,410 people tested, 9,417 people were found to have a fever. He said that 3,909 people are suspected to have dengue of whom only 20 were diagnosed as having dengue.