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HC directs Telangana to act against pvt hospitals ‘fleecing’ patients

The bench observed that there were several instances of families of patients complaining that they were given bills that ran into lakhs of rupees, and if the patient died, some hospitals refused to hand over the bodies until the families paid the dues.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad | Published: July 8, 2020 5:18:11 am
It directed the state government to rein in the private hospitals, investigate why they were charging more than the amount specified by the state government, and submit a report on July 14.(Express photo by Rahul V Pisharody)

The Telangana High Court on Tuesday directed the K Chandrashekar Rao government to take action against private hospitals charging exorbitant rates for the treatment of Covid-19.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijayasena Reddy demanded to know why private hospitals were being allowed to “fleece patients”, and the state government was a “mute witness” despite the state government issuing a Government Order putting a cap on treatment costs. The court also issued notices to the Centre, the National Council for Clinical Establishments, and private hospitals Yashoda, Care, Sunshine and Medicover.

The bench observed that there were several instances of families of patients complaining that they were given bills that ran into lakhs of rupees, and if the patient died, some hospitals refused to hand over the bodies until the families paid the dues.

It directed the state government to rein in the private hospitals, investigate why they were charging more than the amount specified by the state government, and submit a report on July 14.

The court also demanded to know whether the state government had taken any action against Thumbay Hospital in Hyderabad, which did not discharge the Duty Medical Officer of Government Fever Hospital for not paying dues after they billed her Rs 1.19 lakh for a day’s treatment.

Expressing concern that private hospitals were flouting the state government’s order, the HC directed the government to issue fresh guidelines on charges for treatment and ensure that patients are not fleeced. “If government is unable to take action then it should tell us why. What action has the government taken against a hospital which did not discharge a DMO for not paying dues?”

 

 

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