As bills generated for three-day hospitalisation at Paras Hospital, for Covid-19 treatment, amounted to about Rs one lakh— the Mahila Congress National Coordinator, Ranjeeta Mehta, alleged addition of made-up charges in the bills. She alleged that the Panchkula-based private hospital had inflated the bills with charges concealed under the heads of dietitian visits, N-95 masks, gloves and PPE kits.
The congress member had tested positive for coronavirus on August 26 and was taken to the Civil Hospital on August 29 for check-up and treatment. However, the following day, when her condition depleted, she was shifted to the private hospital where she stayed till September 1.
As per Ranjeeta, the hospital charged her an amount of Rs 97,000 for the three days she remained 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.
The Congress member insisted that the costs added for ECG and Cannula show the “high level of corruption going on in the private hospitals under the Haryana government” since ECG test was not done on her and the Cannula was given to her by the Civil Hospital.
She said that the condition of the ward had remained despicable where 25 persons shared one bathroom, “which did not have even a latch on its door.”
The Haryana government late in June had capped the cost of treatment for Covid-19 in private hospitals, between Rs 8000- 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.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ranjeeta said that she has already filed formal complaints with Panchkula’s CMO and the Director General Health Services Haryana. Chief Medical Officer of Panchkula, Dr Jasjeet Kaur said that even though she has not received a complaint yet, in case a formal application of complaint has been filed, the officials will look into the matter and launch a formal enquiry.
Raising questions regarding the policies of the current government and accusing them of being unable to handle the pandemic, Ranjeeta said, “What about the common citizens who cannot afford treatment at private hospitals who are charging amounts much more than prescribed. There have been no checks on the bills they have issued. Is there no regulatory body? Even after paying so much, hygiene remains forgotten. Both men and women shared the same washroom. This is clearly the reason of increase in deaths of Covid cases.”
No response was received from Panchkula-based Paras Hospital on the various allegations leveled against it.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines