Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Saturday directed that an inquiry by a committee of senior officials be held into complaints of private hospitals charging exorbitant fees for COVID-19 treatment.
He said that steps should be taken to ensure that fees as decided by the government are implemented and a report on vacant beds in hospitals is communicated to the government promptly, an official release said.
He also directed that tough action be taken against hospitals which did not follow the regulations. Rajender, who held a review over the complaints against private hospitals, said it is not appropriate for these hospitals to burden the patients in the name of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits , cost of medicines, ICU charges and high salaries to medical personnel though the government has fixed the costs for COVID- 19 treatment.
He expressed anger that some private hospitals are forgetting the responsibility to provide treatment with a humanitarian approach and functioned with a profit motive, the release said.
The officials told the minister that the health department received complaints that some private hospitals charged 10 times more than the stipulated amount. Observing that the health department has been making all efforts since the first case was detected in the state, he said modern and expensive medicines have been made available in government hospitals.
He urged that people should avail the free treatment in government hospitals without having fear of the infectious disease, the release said. Saying that the government is ready to address the problems of private hospitals, he appealed to them to see that heavy burden is not put on patients.
As of 8 pm on Saturday, Telangana has reported 66,677 total cases of COVID-19 of which 18,547 are active after 47,590 people were discharged after recovery while 540 people succumbed to the virus. The state has a fatality rate of 0.8% and a recovery rate of 71.3%. In its daily bulletin issued on Sunday morning, the state said that there were 12,0001 people under home and institutional isolation. In total, the state has tested 4,77,795 samples.