In a first, Telangana government Monday evening cancelled the permission granted to a private hospital in Hyderabad to treat COVID-19 patients. The office of the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare found the Deccan Hospitals guilty of “inappropriate and surplus billing” for COVID-19 management services.
Private hospitals in the state were allowed to treat COVID-19 patients from mid-June onwards. In the last month, several instances of hospitals refusing to hand over the body of the deceased to their families for want of full settlement of medical bills, complaints of poor treatment and neglect despite exorbitant charges and denial of treatment have emerged in Hyderabad. This is the first time any action has been taken against a private hospital.
According to the order, the Deccan Hospital in Somajiguda is now prohibited from admitting any new COVID-19 patient. The hospital has been asked to ensure no inconvenience is caused to patients who are undergoing treatment at present. They have to be treated as per the price ceiling fixed by the government and, if the hospital fails to do so, the government would cancel its licence.
The order also states that it received several complaints against the hospital that it was charging exorbitantly for COVID-19 treatment and that the price ceiling fixed by the government was not being followed. Following this, the District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) Hyderabad inquired into the matter and found that the hospital had indeed violated the government norms on treatment charges.
Action has been taken under provisions of the Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2002, and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and comes into force with immediate effect, says the order undersigned Dr. G Srinivasa Rao, Director of Health and Family Welfare.
The hospital came under fire a few days ago after 20-year-old Radhesh Reddy posted several videos on Twitter about the ordeal he underwent at the hospital after three members in his family succumbed to COVID-19.
My sincere request to @KTRTRS garu and @TelanganaCMO please go through the video to understand my pain. I’m fed with the false claims from the Deccan hospitals management.
I really hope you take action against these private hospitals.#justiceforasnr @Eatala_Rajender
Part 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Vtf59ohx0K
— Anreddy Radhesh (@anreddy_radhesh) July 30, 2020
As the tweet went viral, minister KT Rama Rao responded tagging the health minister Etala Rajender and requesting strictest action against the hospital.
“Deeply anguished on hearing about the tragic loss of your family members Radhesh. Exploitation in these times by private hospitals is deplorable & a shame Request Health Minister @Eatala_Rajender Garu to take the strictest action against these irresponsible institutions asap” (sic)
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