NMMC takes tough stands on overcharging by private hospitals, issues show-cause notice
Kunal Patil

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has taken a tough stand against private hospitals for overcharging and has issued a-show-cause notice against 10 such private hospitals in the city that are treating Covid-19 patients. The civic body has also directed hospitals to use generic medicine preferably and charge accordingly. They have also been asked to charge medical implants not more than 10% of markup price or the net procurement cost.

The civic body has also appealed citizens to report about discrepancies in bills if they are fleeced by private hospitals.

As part of the “Mission Break the Chain”, the civic administration is taking all necessary measures to control the spread of infection. “As many patients are approaching private hospitals for different reasons, it may be their choice or the unavailability of beds at government runs hospitals. They must be admitted and treated as per the guidelines issued by the state government on May 21,” said a senior civic official. He added that there are several complaints of overcharging by private hospitals.

As per the order, the hospitals cannot deny admission to walk-in patients, especially those having oxygen saturation level less than 95%. “In case of bed unavailability, the hospital shall stabilise the patient in their triage section till the bed is made available in another facility and shift the patient to the facility in ambulance having oxygen facility,” said the official.

The civic body has also directed the private and charitable hospitals to charge as per the guidelines. “Charges for any medical implants like Guider wire catheter, PPE kits among others should not be more than 10% of markup price on net procurement cost incurred,” said the official. He added that if any items are used for more than one person, the cost of divided among such patients.

Meanwhile, the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) has also issued a similar circular on Wednesday and directed private and charitable hospitals to prescribe generic medicine preferably. The corporation also asked the hospital to not withhold patients in case of non-payment of bills.

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