The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has set up COVID-19 Bill Complaint Centre for the redressal of inflated bills by private hospitals. The centre will act within 24 hours of receiving the complaints. The civic body has been constantly getting complaints from citizens regarding inflated bills by private hospitals.
Now, the civic body is taking complaints over phone or email. Even the citizen can send a complaint on WhatsApp with all documents.
A senior civic official says that they have received complaints that some private hospitals are charging more than the rates fixed by the state government. “Now, the process to register a complaint is hassle free and appropriate action will be taken within the stipulated time,” said the official.
“Civic chief Abhijeet Bangar paid special attention on the rising number of complaints and accordingly set up "Covid Bill Complaint Center" to address the inflated bills issue in NMMC’s jurisdiction. The complaint can be registered at 022-27567389 or WhatsApp at 7208490010. Even, citizens can email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The centre start functioning from September 7, 2020 and it will receive complaints from 8 am to 8 pm. “The executive at the centre will take contact person name of the patient, name of the complainant, mobile and contact number, full address of the patient, name and address of the hospital, date of hospitalization, date of discharge from the hospital, amount of bill charged by the hospital and brief information of complaint,” said the official. Upon receipt of these copies, the complainant will be given a specific token number.
The Public Health department of state government had issued a notification on May 21 to the Health Care Providers (various hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries) registered under the Bombay Nursing Homes (Amendment) Act, 2006 to provide medical services to the patients infected with COVID 19. The circular also mentioned about the rates to be charged while treating a COVID 19 patient. If any hospitals or nursing homes are found violating the norms, a competent authority like NMMC can take an action.
Earlier, the civic body had formed a committee to look into inflated bills issues and also issued notices to some private hospitals. “We had even issued notice to around 10 private hospitals for overcharging and sought their reply,” said the official.