Health officials will take stringent action on a private hospital in Hyderabad, which allegedly demanded exorbitant rates from Covid-19 patients and their relatives.
Responding to IT Minister KT Rama Rao’s tweet on Thursday asking Health Minister Eatala Rajender to take strict action against the private hospital, Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr. G Srinivasa Rao said stringent action would be taken on all erring hospitals.
Dr. Rao also directed the District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO), Hyderabad, to conduct an inquiry into the complaints on the private hospital and to submit a factual report within 48 hours. “The matter should be treated as most urgent,” the DPH said in his orders.
Earlier on Thursday morning, IT Minister KT Rama Rao had urged the Health Minister to take strict action against private hospitals in Hyderabad and elsewhere, against whom Covid-19 patients and their relatives were complaining about excessive medical billing and exploitation. Rao was responding to a complaint made by a youngster Anreddy Radhesh of Maheswaram Mandal in Dubbacherla village, who lost his father, mother, and brother to Covid-19.
All of them were admitted to Deccan Hospital in Somajiguda. Radhesh, who also tested Covid-19 positive but was asymptomatic and was in home isolation, tweeted accusing the hospital of lack of proper medical treatment and excessive billing. He said his family had paid Rs 40 lakh for the three Covid-19 patients but the hospital was insisting that he clear more pending medical bills to get his father’s body released.
“Deeply anguished on hearing about the tragic loss of your family members. Exploitation in these times by private hospitals is deplorable and a shame. Request Health Minister Eatala Rajender to take strictest action against these irresponsible institutions (asap)”, the IT Minister tweeted.
The management of Deccan Hospitals, meanwhile, refuted the allegations and said the total bill for providing treatment to Anreddy Radhesh’s father Satyanarayana Reddy was Rs 12 lakh, out of which the family paid Rs 10 lakh. The hospital said Reddy’s wife and another son were not admitted to Deccan Hospital and that they had passed away in other city hospitals.
“On July 10, Satyanarayana Reddy and his wife were first admitted to Deccan Hospital and within three days, they were discharged from the hospital against medical advice. Later, on July 15, Reddy was readmitted in a critical condition. To save his life, we administered high-end drugs including antibiotics, anti-virals, etc. Along with Covid-19, he also developed a bacterial infection. Throughout the treatment process, we were informed of his health condition to his elder son, who lives in a foreign country and to his family doctor. On July 28, his oxygen levels dropped alarmingly and we had to put him on a ventilator and he died of cardiac arrest. Reddy was also not informed about his wife and son’s death. He died on the evening of July 28 but his son was not in Hyderabad and due to Covid-19 protocols, his body was released to the family the next day,” Deccan Hospitals COO Dr. Lily Saleem said.