Exorbitant charge of private hospitals
Panel to examine complaints
GUWAHATI: A committee of the State Health and Family Welfare Department is going to examine the veracity of complaints that 'some private hospitals in the State have been charging inflated bills from the COVID-19 patients'.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "The committee of the Health and Family Welfare Department will submit its report on June 2, 2021. We'll fix the treatment charges of private hospitals on June 3."
The Chief Minister further said, "Common people shouldn't go to private hospitals. In the COVID-19 treatment, government hospitals are rendering good service. Those who have company schemes or health insurance may go to the private hospitals."
The decision to examine the complaint against private hospitals was taken at a recent meeting among the top-level officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department, National Health Mission (NHM), Atal Amrit Abhiyan Society, Assam and the representatives of a few private hospitals in the presence of the Health Minister Keshab Mahanta.
The Department is worried as it has received complaints that a section of private hospitals in the State has been charging exorbitant rates from the COVID-19 patients.
According to the decision taken in the meeting, the committee will examine hospitalization and treatment charges for the COVID-19 patients by the private hospitals in the State. The committee will further discuss the matter with the representatives of a few private hospitals, if it feels necessary, to resolve the issue of inflated bills paid by the COVID-19 patients over and above the rates of beds and treatment charges. The Committee will suggest standardization of treatment charges of the COVID-19 patients in private hospitals.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said at the meeting that private hospitals have a crucial role to play in this COVID-19 pandemic. "There shouldn't be much difference between hospitalization and treatment charges of general patients and that of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals," he said.
The Minister cited the examples of a few states where the beds of private hospitals are managed by the Governments under the purview of the Disaster Management Act. "The private hospitals should ensure that there's no overcharging for the COVID-19 treatment and that the hospitalization and treatment charges are affordable to the general citizens," he said.