Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has set up a Special Audit Committee, consisting of four members to look into complaints of overcharging by private hospitals. The committee, consisting additional commissioner, account officers, and health officers will submit its report within 72 hours after receiving a complaint.
Even after NMMC issued instructions to private hospitals to adhere to tariffs decided by the state government, there have been complaints from citizens that private hospitals are overcharging for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 treatments.
All the hospitals, nursing homes, maternity homes, dispensaries, and other medical support systems are registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 with income above Rs 5 lakh, 10 percent of beds of the total beds have to be reserved for common public. However, the civic body received complaints that from patients that private hospitals are overcharging for these beds.
“The Special Audit Committee will conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the medical bills charged by the hospitals on the complaints received from the citizens as well as the treatment carried out under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana,” said Sudhakar Sonawane, chief medical officer of NMMC.
He added that the committee will submit its report within 72 hours after receiving complaints. Sonawane is also a member of the committee which will be headed by Additional Municipal Commissioner Sujata Dhole.
The Public Health Department of the Government of Maharashtra had already issued a circular on May 21, 2020, regarding the service-wise tariff to be charged for the treatment of non-COVID and COVID patients. In the circular, the municipal commissioner has been vested with the authority to strictly implement the guidelines for tariffs.
Meanwhile, for the second consecutive day, the number of positive cases under the NMMC jurisdiction was less than 200. On July 6, the number of positive cases of coronavirus was 164, taking the total positive cases to 7,959 in the city. However, 153 persons were discharged on July 6 and now, the active cases stand at 3,119.