BHOPAL: Private hospitals and owners of pathology laboratories are fleecing corona patients in the name of treating them. The government has tried to put a curb on such private hospitals and pathology centres, but they are out of control since the number of cases has shot through the roof. The government has fixed Rs 700 for the RT-PCR test and Rs 300 for the antigen test. An additional amount of Rs 200 may be charged from the patients whose samples have to be collected from home.
Many pathology centres stopped testing after the government fixed the rates. These laboratories either take arbitrary charges from the patients or refuse do to any testing. The private laboratories have given a wide berth to the rates fixed by the government for the other tests. The government has fixed Rs 3,000 for a CT scan, but many doctors are not ready to do that at that rate. A few doctors have stopped doing CT scan. Besides, many hospitals delay test reports, causing harassment to patients.
The patients are facing the same problems in getting treatment. The private hospitals have neither oxygen, nor Remdesivir injections. When Covid-19 patients are admitted to a private hospital, they are asked to deposit lakhs of rupees. Although such hospitals are in want of facilities, they never leave an opportunity to rip off a patient. Two patients are kept in one room, but each of them is asked to pay the full charge of the room. The expenses of PPE kits that the medical attendants wear are added to the bill given to the patients.
According to a senior officer, problems have cropped up since the number of patients has suddenly increased. He says there are complaints against private hospitals, but the government is trying to provide treatment to all the patients.