The Telangana government, on May 31, revoked the permission of six more private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. These hospitals are Padmaja Hospital in K.P.H.B Colony, Medchal district; Lifeline Medicure Hospital, Alwal, Medchal district; Max Care Hospital, Hanmakonda, Warangal Urban district; TX Hospital, Uppal, Medchal district; Lalitha Hospital, Warangal Urban district; Sri Sai Ram Hospital, Sangareddy district. These hospitals have been accused of overcharging COVID-19 patients, in violation of the government order.
So far, a total of 16 hospitals have been barred from treating COVID-19 cases under the Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2002 and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. These hospitals have been instructed against admitting any new COVID-19 patients.
The Director of Public Health said that since May 29, they have received a total of 166 complaints against private hospitals, out of which, 105 of them have been issued a show-cause notice. As per the government order in June 2020 on price ceiling, a patient availing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a ventilator will be charged Rs 9,000 per day, excluding charges of PPE kits, CT, MRI and PET scan. The charges will be Rs 7,500 per day for treatment in ICU without a ventilator; and the cost for treatment in the general ward is capped at Rs 4,000 per day.
On May 28 and 29, the Telangana government barred 10 private hospitals from treating COVID-19 patients for violating protocols. In one of the hospitals, Virinchi Hospital in Banjara Hills, violence broke out on May 27 following the death of a COVID-19 patient identified as Vamshi Krishna. Alleging medical negligence, the deceasedâ€™s family members and relatives attacked doctors and damaged furniture in the hospital.
Subsequently, a probe was initiated against the hospital. Seeking a detailed explanation from the management, the Health Department had issued a showcause notice. However, as the hospital failed to respond to the notice, the permission of the hospital to treat COVID-19 cases was cancelled.
The Director of Public Health had warned that the government will cancel the licences of the hospitals if they continued to fleece patients. â€śIt is hereby warned that any hospital found guilty of violating established protocols/norms/guidelines, will be subjected to suitable disciplinary action,â€ť Dr G Srinivasa Rao, Director of Public Health said.