WORRYING: Private hospitals demand 'advance amount' from Coronavirus patients
The insistence of certain private hospitals on depositing a hefty amount while admitting a Coronavirus patient, has emerged as a major cause of concern.
The deposit that generally starts from Rs 50,000 is supposed to be paid when the patient is brought to the hospital. And, the treatment begins only after the money is handed over, according to reports.
Until the amount that ranges from Rs 50,000 to 2 lakh is deposited, the patient doesn't get admitted, says a report published in Lokmat newspaper in Maharashtra. It says that hospital management claims that after the treatment, there are issues regarding payment and the patients often dither on paying the bills.
Hence, the money is being demanded in advance as a security deposit, they claim. However, for majority of patients it is not easy to arrange so much money. It also brings to fore the need for regular monitoring of treatment cost in private hospitals. Is the government keeping an eye on such developments?
In fact, such reports had earlier been received from other parts of the country too. Telegraph had reported about similar practice in Kolkata and a Deccan Chronicle report had mentioned that if extra charges are paid, then patient is admitted, else it is said that bed is not available. Clearly, better monitoring is needed.
The latest Lokmat report mentions that not all hospitals are treating Coronavirus patients, and availability of beds is less, hence, even patients with mild to heavy symptoms are brought for treatment, they are asked to pay the deposit. It tells that Vidarbha region is now registering more Covid patients on a daily basis.
The private hospitals' association convener is quoted as saying that as cost of treatment is high, ranging from maintenance to Oxyegen supply, cost of PPE kits and other arrangement for staff in hospital, the expenses are more but if the government takes responsibility of all expenses and treatment costs, then advance won't be charged.
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