COVID-19 Pandemic: How private hospitals are fleecing the patients
Coronavirus cases are quickly increasing across the globe. In such a situation, the doctors are playing a vital role in saving people’s life by taking immediate action on positive test results of coronavirus.
Indeed, the doctors are boosted to a demi-god status whenever a crisis hits humans. In the time of coronavirus, the pandemic is a horrific situation, where doctors are doing day and night duties to fight with coronavirus and save the life of patients from this virus, some private hospitals’ management is spoiling doctors’ images by charging extortionate prices from patients or by fleecing patients. Most of them are focusing on profit-making over patients in the pandemic.
The proceeding Covid-19 outbreak has impacted healthcare companies, which claim declining footfalls, as well as rising consumables and staff costs, have put their very survival at stake. “The cost of running a COVID hospital is very high and 50% of that is fixed costs”.
Result: Private hospitals are charging Rs 10,000 per PPE Kits and Rs 1 lakh for a day’s care. If the patient shifts to ICU, the hospital will charge Rs 100000. The poor are being turned away and the needy are looted.
In Delhi, many private hospitals are making Rs. 50000 bill of 5 PPE kits. Due to the limited number of hospital beds and high demand for the same, many people are doing black marketing of hospital beds.
SOME OF THE LOOTING CASES OF PRIVATE HOSPITALS ARE AS FOLLOWED:-
In one of the Chennai hospital, an official asked for Rs 40,000 to Rs 5000 per day for treating COVID-19 patients in the hospital ward. Relatives of COVID-19 patients who were admitted to private hospitals were overcharged. When Chennai has recorded over 12,000 coronavirus cases, some private hospital management is taking advantage of this situation and they have started fleecing patients.
Thereunto, some private hospitals are dealing with patients in a thrashing way when a patient or family member is not able to pay the full amount charged by hospitals.
The very shocking incident happened in a private hospital of MP. An 80-year-old man was allegedly tied to a bed in a private hospital as his family members failed to pay the hospital bills. This incident took place in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh.
Going by details, the family members of the elderly man have deposited an amount of Rs. 11,000 in the beginning. After a few days of treatment, the hospital authorities forced them to pay another Rs.11,000. The daughter of the elderly man requested the hospital authorities to discharge him as she couldn’t pay the bill.
Thus, the old man was tied to the bed after his daughter failed to pay Rs 11,000. The daughter of the old man said that they have lost their livelihood due to the coronavirus induced lockdown and left with no money.
When the matter goes to the public, doctors started making false reasons like ” The old man was having convulsions because of electrolyte imbalance. We tied him so that he could not hurt himself.”
When political parties get involved in this matter, one of the politicians said that there is no stop for the private hospitals to loot the common people and it is continuing amidst the coronavirus crisis. He demanded that strict action should be taken against those who have been responsible for the act. After this statement, the Shajapur district authorities have ordered a probe into the matter.
Another loot happened in Mumbai hospital
As we all know that corona cases are on the peak in Mumbai(Maharashtra), life in that city is very tough these days because people are not allowed to go outside, even to buy groceries they have to place an order by online-only due to rapidly increase in corona cases. Even if they order from outside there are huge chances to infect with viruses.
In such a bad situation, many private hospitals like Kasturba Hospital are looting patients by demanding to pay exorbitant prices.
A family who lost their 25-year-old son to COVID-19 had to make frantic arrangements for nearly Rs 4 lakh a few days ago as their 7 members tested positive and had to be moved to a private hospital from the quarantine center.
This young boy patient of the hospital who died due to coronavirus had sent voice messages to his brother before he died. These voice messages were recorded when he got to know about his mother and family members get positive.
In his voice message, he said to his brother that he was scared that his mother would face the same fate and about alleged neglect at the civic-run Kasturba Hospital, an experience they did not want another of them to go through. Before admitted time they charged 1 lakh rupees which his family had paid. But after his death, they were demanding more while admitting other family members in the hospital.
Abraham Mathai, who heads an NGO, said one of his old friends who admitted to Nanavati Hospital, has also paid hefty sum as deposit and is starting at a bill of over Rs 4 lakh, which insurer has refused to cover.
A 12-day stay at a private hospital to cure coronavirus can cost more than ₹8 lakh. Pan India, the average stay can cost anywhere between ₹40,000-50,000 a day. The amount is likely to go up if the patient is shifted to the intensive care unit or is put on ventilator support.
“We need to survive to serve,” said Abhay Soi, chairman, Max Healthcare, the chain that runs COVID facilities in both New Delhi and Mumbai. He added that he would be happy to operate his hospitals on the government’s behalf, supplementing their capacity on a no-profit basis.”
“The government only has to pay salaries of healthcare workers and other direct expenses such as power, water, etc,” he said.
Teething Challenges Over Claims and Payments: INSURANCE POLICIES CLAIM ISSUES
The other of the issues being faced by patients is that while insurance policies have been extended to cover Covid-19, there are teething challenges over claims and payments. In some cases, insurance companies say the claims they have received are not just related to coronavirus but for other ailments as well.
Dr. Abhay Shukla of Jan Arogya Abhiyan said, ” Government must fix rates or get hospitals to charge as per Ayushman Bharat rates.” Else they have to take over private hospitals like in Ireland and Spain. This is not a time for profiteering.
By a notification passed by the state government, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has appealed all private hospitals in the twin-city to get impaneled for the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) to put a cap on the costs of treatment of Covid-19 and other ailments, the scheme which was earlier restricted for limited beneficiaries has been extended to cover the entire population and private hospitals.
“The Government Of India should tell the private hospitals to not charge for the coronavirus tests or charge minimal prices for coronavirus treatment like the government hospitals.”
The Government of India should take strict actions against those private hospitals who are charging high prices for the treatment and test of Coronavirus. Central Government should make Yojna like Mira Bhayandar state government who made MJPJAY you to take control of private hospitals.
In this article, we have discussed how people are looting by a private hospital instead of helping people. In many metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, coronavirus treatment is very expensive. Even the behavior of some doctors is very rude. Before admitting patients, they demand to pay Rs. 1 lakh rupees, and after that doctors said to the patient’s family to shift patient in another hospital.
This kind of situation is making the worst for poor people who don’t have money to pay for coronavirus treatment. If the government will not take any action to control this situation people might do start riots which will make India’s situation worst!