Hyderabad: The Telangana government has received more than 2,000 complaints against private hospitals, at least 200 of which pertain to overcharging patients. The state has issued show cause notices to all the hospitals.

“We have issued show cause notices to all the hospitals and have initiated actions against some of them. We have revoked the licenses of COVID-designated and other hospitals and launched inquiries. They are under scrutiny and appropriate action will be initiated at the right moment,” said Dr. G. Srinivas Rao, the director of public health, Telangana government.

The government also said that its intention is not to close down all hospitals as people require the services of both government and private hospitals. “Our intention is not to deny treatment to a certain section of people. Private hospitals should adhere to the government norms, if not, the government is ready to take action,” added Dr. Rao.

On 25 August, Telangana tested more than 53,000 samples, crossing the 10 lakh-mark in terms of the total number of tests conducted. “Recently, we ramped up testing and are now conducting 50,000 tests per day and the positivity rate is around five per cent. Earlier, the positivity rate ranged between 20-25 per cent,” Dr. Rao said, adding, the state had conducted more than five lakh tests just this month.

The government also said that the main goal is to detect the virus early and treat patients accordingly. For this purpose, around 1,100 testing centres have been set up in the state that are conducting both rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests. The state has also set up a special facility at NIMS for health professionals. “Almost 16 people have died and more than 2,000 health care professionals infected in the state. At NIMS, there is a separate ward for health care professionals and we are also taking care of their family,” said Dr. Rao.

Dr. Naresh Kumar, a 35-year-old government doctor, died of COVID-19 on  August 7. The Telangana Public Health Doctors’ Association has demanded ex gratia for his family. The government announced Rs. 50 lakh compensation and a gazetted job for the doctor’s wife. However, the association doubts the government’s intention and is asking when the amount will be paid to the family. Dr. Rao said, “The ex gratia amount is being processed. The Central government, too, has announced additional ex gratia to the doctor’s family. According to the guidelines, the kin of the deceased is to get employment as a circle officer. However, the government is kind enough to give the deceased doctor’s wife the job of a gazetted officer.”

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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