Taking cognizance of a complaint filed by Mahila Congress National Coordinator Ranjeeta Mehta alleging inflation of bills by a private hospital of Panchkula, the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday directed the civil surgeon to probe the matter.
Mehta had tested positive for Covid-19 on August 26 and was taken to the civil hospital on August 29 for a check-up and treatment. However, the following day, when her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to a private hospital where she stayed till September 1.
As bills generated for a three-day hospitalisation at Paras Hospital of Panchkula for Covid-19 treatment reached about Rs. 1 lakh, Mehta submitted complaints to DG health, state Health Minister Anil Vij as well as the Panchkula CMO and submitted a copy of complaint to the Human Rights Commission.
Mehta said the hospital charged her Rs. 97,000 for the three days she was admitted. While Rs. 10,000 was charged each day for occupying a bed in the general ward with 24 others, she was charged Rs. 5,500 for gloves, Rs. 3,500 for 10 N-95 masks, Rs. 5,000 additional charges for PPE kits, and Rs. 12,500 for lab tests among other charges including a dietitian’s visit which, she alleges, never took place.
She alleged that not only were the bills inflated under concealed heads of dietitian visits, N-95 masks, gloves and PPE kits, charges including those of procedures never conducted.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mehta questioned the inaction of both district and state authorities in taking cognizance of the matter despite written complaints by her.
Calling Vij the ‘tweet minister’ she said, “He is always on Twitter posting updates but did not respond to the situation unfolding on ground amid the pandemic. Why is he silent on the matter? Why did the DG (Health) not do anything, why was no step taken by CMO despite assurances? There is not a shred of doubt that the ministers sleep while the citizens have been forced to deal and die amid the crumbling infrastructure. The Chief Minister and the Speaker both ran towards Medanta or seek treatment in PGIMER, leaving all state hospitals…Janta trasth hai aur humaare tweet mantra ji mast hain.”
“Even though I paid the bills, common citizens of the state are not lucky enough to bear the lavish costs of basic treatment. Their right to living has been snatched away from them amid the pandemic,” she said.
The Haryana government had late in June capped the cost of treatment for Covid-19 in private hospitals to between Rs. 8,000-Rs. 15,000 a day. For isolation beds, including supportive care and oxygen (moderate sickness), the cost per patient per day was fixed at Rs. 8,000. The government’s order had stated that the rates will include charges of “all lab investigations, radiological diagnostics, monitoring charges, drugs, consumables including PPE/masks/gloves et al.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines