Stung by complaints related to overcharging by private hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 in the twin-city, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally rolled up its sleeves to keep a tab on any such fleecing tactics.
To ensure private hospitals are charge bills in accordance to rates notified by the government, the civic administration has instituted a five-member team comprising of senior officials who will personally visit the private hospitals for audit and verification of medical bills being charged from Covid-19 patients. As per the provisions which has been passed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the government has regulated 80 percent usage of bed capacity of private hospitals (excluding beds of PICU, NICU, day care, maintenance and hemodialysis) while capping prices of treatments that can be billed to patients.
Hospitals are allowed to charge their own rates in the remaining 20 percent beds. A ceiling has also been imposed on treatment of around 270 procedures or surgeries for non-Covid cases. However, there have been numerous complaints of exorbitant bills by some private players who were not cooperating with patients.
“Presently nine private hospitals in the twin-city have tied up with the MBMC under the 80:20 pattern to facilitate Covid-19 treatment. The committee will ensure that the hospitals levy charges prescribed by the government.” said a senior MBMC officer while appealing citizens to bring to notice if they have been overcharged by private hospitals.
“With the patient count spilling beyond the capacity of the lone public health facility, it is the need of the hour for the managements of private hospitals to share the pandemic burden in true spirit.” said social activist and former corporator-Rohit Suvarna.
Hospitals are also mandated to install visible boards displaying availability status of beds under both categories, along with prescribed rates, failing which the civic administration is empowered to initiate punitive action against erring medical institutions. With a total count of positive cases nearing the 4,000 mark and toll climbing to 152, the coronagraph of the twin-city has reached alarming levels in the twin-city.