Hyderabad: The Telangana health department has cancelled the COVID-19 license of Oakridge Hospitals Multi Speciality, Madhapur, for overcharging patients. Concurrently, the authorities have issued three showcase notices to hospitals located in Secunderabad, Nagole, and Basheerbagh, the director of public health, Dr. G. Srinivas Rao, said on 18 May.
It is pertinent to note that this comes a day after the High Court took serious note of private hospitals fleecing COVID-19 patients. The court had given the state 48 hours to revise the 2020 government order and bring PPE kits, investigative blood tests, and CT scan under the price ceiling.
According to the DPH, the department has received 26 complaints against private hospitals overcharging patients. A viral post on social media showed that a private hospital in LB Nagar had charged a COVID patient Rs. 23 lakh. Based on media reports, the High Court took cognizance and directed the state to seriously look into the complaints.
Dr. Rao, while speaking to the media on Tuesday, said, "For over two weeks, the number of new COVID cases has seen a downward trend in the state. The positivity rate is 5.28 per cent. The lockdown imposed is proving to be effective. The fever survey conducted in Greater Hyderabad is being emulated across other districts which is helping flatten the curve."
He further added, "Many private hospitals are charging Rs. 1 lakh a day. A warning has already been issued. I appeal to the public to opt for government hospitals. The state has adequate bed availability in government-run hospitals. Currently, private hospitals are running short of medicines while the situation is contrary in government hospitals."
On the increasing number of black fungus cases, the director said, "The state has reported 50 cases of Mycormycorsis, of which 30-40 were in private hospitals. Telangana has been at the forefront to procure medicines for the infection. A special committee has been set up to regulate the stock."
The drive to administer vaccines to people above 45 years will resume as soon as the state receives adequate stock, Dr. Rao said. Telangana is in talks with vaccination manufacturers, while the government has decided to call for global tenders to procure the vaccine. In the coming months, the vaccine will be administered to eligible beneficiaries. Priority will be given to those awaiting a second dose.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on May 18th held a meeting with AYUSH Doctors on providing supplementary medication to treat black fungus disease. He said, "Government is taking all the necessary steps to tackle black fungus disease in the state. Presently, the treatment is being taken up at Gandhi Hospital and Govt. ENT King Koti.
Ayush doctors briefed Chief Secretary on the treatment protocols available in Ayurvedic, Homeopathi and Unani System of medicine. They informed that Prophylactic Treatment for the black fungus will be given at Ayurvedic Hospital at Erragadda, Homeopathi Hospital at Ramanthapur and Unani Hospitals at Charminar and Erragadda.