838 overcharging cases registered against Telangana's private hospitals in 2 years: RTI

In an RTI reply, Public Health and Family Welfare department said the government received 838 grievances of inflated billing or overcharging. The RTI was filed by Yugantar, an NGO working exclusively for the public.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  26 May 2022 5:32 AM GMT
838 overcharging cases registered against Telanganas private hospitals in 2 years: RTI

Hyderabad: Around 838 cases of inappropriate billing or overcharging were registered against Telangana's private hospitals in the last two years of the pandemic. In an RTI reply, Public Health and Family Welfare department said the government received 838 grievances of inflated billing or overcharging.

The RTI was filed by Yugantar, an NGO working exclusively for the public. They run a website `YouRTI' where people can post their grievances. If the questions are found to be genuine, they file an RTI to seek answers from the government.

Data released by the government said 843 grievances were registered against private hospitals for not following Covid-19 protocol and violating the government's order on treatment charges.

The government had revised the cost of various tests including the RT PCR from time to time during the pandemic. The grievances were related to inappropriate billing, medical negligence, lack of sanitation, and nonadherence to Covid protocols.

The majority of the grievances were related to inflated billing or extra charges collected by private hospitals in the state. Four cases were related to medical negligence and one related to lack of sanitation and non-adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

The medical negligence grievances were recorded at TIMS Gachibowli (1), Rise Children's Hospital, Hasthinapuram (1), Dr. Hirens Diabetic Thyroid and Generic Clinic in Nallakunta (1), and Omni Hospital in Kothapet (1). The sanitation issue was registered in Nakshatra Hospitals in Adilabad.

"During the second wave, lots of people raised queries and concerns regarding hospitals charging extra bills. People spent lakhs of rupees to get a bed and for other services in hospitals. At one time, the government hospitals ran out of facilities and the poor had to go to private hospitals. And they looted them. This is why we decided to file an RTI to know the action taken by the government against these hospitals," says Mohammed Akram of Yugantar.

What action has been taken?

Out of the 843 grievances, 104 cases of inappropriate billing were settled by the refund. 252 grievances were withdrawn by the complainants. Around 487 are still pending as they are under review by the DMHOs. "Even after a year, the government is still reviewing these cases. Why?" asks Akram.

"If the government says that it is for poor people, it should take action against the corporates who run these hospitals and prove that it is pro-poor," he adds

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