The Telangana government on June 1 revoked permission for six more private hospitals in Hyderabad from treating COVID-19 patients. So far, a total of 22 private hospitals have been barred after they were found to be overcharging patients, not providing them with proper care and mismanagement. The six hospitals whose permissions were revoked on Tuesday are KIMS hospitals at Secunderabad, Sunshine Hospitals at Gachibowli, Century Hospitals at Banjara Hills, Lotus Hospitals at Lakdikapul, Medisys Hospital at LB Nagar and Integro Hospital at Tolichowki Main Road, Retibowli.
The Office of the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare received eight new complainants against the hospitals on Tuesday, taking the total number of complaints to 174. All these hospitals were sent show-cause notices. The 22 hospitals were barred from treating COVID-19 patients only after they completed the treatment and discharged existing patients under their care.
Since May 27, the Telangana government has been cracking down on private hospitals after the death of a COVID-19 patient at Virinchi hospital. An incident of violence was also reported at the hospital, with patient attendees alleging negligence by the doctors. The permission granted to the hospital for treating patients was subsequently revoked. Over the course of May 28 and 29, the department revoked permission of 10 other hospitals. By May 31, a total of 16 hospitals were asked to stop COVID-19 related treatment services.
On June 1, the Telangana High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy took up the issue of overcharging by private hospitals for hearing. The court observed that the cancellation of COVID-19 treatment permission doesnâ€™t provide any reconciliation to those who have overpaid and that the issue needs a logical conclusion.
The court had also sought details from the state on how it planned to make up for the lost beds across the 22 hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients. The state in its response assured the court that there is an adequate number of beds for COVID-19 patients within Hyderabad.
All 22 hospitals have been barred from providing COVID-19 treatment under the Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2002 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.