Rajesh Tope
Rajesh Tope
ANI Photo

Jalna: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said strict action would be taken against private hospitals charging exorbitant fees from COVID-19 patients and for other treatments.

Tope was talking to reporters after a meeting with private doctors in the state's Jalna district on Monday. Asked about complaints that some private hospitals in Jalna were taking advance and hefty sums from COVID-19 patients, the minister said, "We will not tolerate it." He warned of strict action against the hospitals overcharging COVID-19 and non-coronavirus patients.

The state has included COVID-19 treatment under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, government's flagship health insurance scheme. The scheme also covers private hospitals, Tope said. The minister said he had received complaints that when COVID-19 patients become critical, some private hospitals refer them to government medical facilities.

"This is a serious issue and this should not be done," he said. Tope also said that private doctors in Jalna should work for seven days at government hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients. He said the 10-day curfew imposed in the city since July 5 was necessary to break the chain of the viral infection, and appealed to people to cooperate with the local administration to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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Free Press Journal