A doctor at a government hospital in Hyderabad has filed a police complaint alleging that she was charged Rs 1.19 lakh for a day by a private hospital for Covid-19 treatment in violation of the state government’s guidelines on treatment costs.
However, the hospital said that she was charged for the “services and medicines given to her”.
In her complaint at Chaderghat Police Station on July 4, Dr Asra Sultana, who is an assistant civil surgeon at the Government Fever Hospital, said that she went to the Thumbay Hospital on June 1 after she experienced problems in breathing. She had tested positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago and was in home isolation prior to the night of June 1, she said in the complaint.
Sultana was asked to pay Rs 40,000 at the time of admission and when she wanted to leave the next day, the hospital did not allow her to go till a payment of Rs 79,000 was made, the complaint further stated.
“They did not give me proper medicines and the nurses were irresponsible. They did not give me medication on time… For just one day, I was at the hospital on July 2, they charged me Rs 1.19 lakh. I paid Rs 40,000, but as I did not have the remaining amount they detained me for several hours until my brother, who is also Covid-positive, came and paid the remaining amount. Eventually we paid Rs 1.19 lakh for a day’s treatment at the hospital,’’ she stated in her complaint.
A statement released by the hospital said Sultana was admitted without any issues. “She was billed for the services and medicines given to her during her stay at the hospital,” the hospital stated.
The hospital authorities did not respond to attempts for comment by The Indian Express.
Sultana also posted a video from the hospital on social media, following which, health officials shifted her to the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).
The Telangana Doctors’ Association said the incident has highlighted how private hospitals are looting people and called upon the government to take strict action.
The association’s president, Dr Lalu Prasad Rathod, said, “Even in this pandemic situation, private hospitals are looting helpless citizens. Dr Sultana is a well-respected and experienced doctor and she herself was at the forefront of the battle against Corona. When she has to undergo this kind of humiliation at the hospital and was issued a bill of over Rs 1 lakh, just imagine how the private hospitals are looting middle-class patients. When Dr Sultana questioned the medication and billing, she was asked to leave the hospital but was not allowed to go until she paid the bill. We demand that the government take strict action against private hospitals which are looting or overcharging people.”
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