Raigad district admin pulls up PMC over delay in audit of inflated private hospital bills

The Raigad district administration has sought a detailed report on action taken by Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) against private hospitals for overcharging COVID-19 patients. The district administration has also directed the civic administration to take necessary measures and ensure that there should not be a complaint regarding the inflated medical bills from civic jurisdiction in future.

Kantilal Kadu, president of Panvel Sangharsh Samiti (PSS) had complained to the district administration regarding inflated medical bills by some private hospitals in the Panvel area. There are 21 designated private hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients under the PMC area.

The district administration took cognizance of the complaint and asked the civic administration to take action against hospitals for overcharging COVID-19 patients.

The district administration had formed a team under the deputy district collector on July 22 to address the bills related issues in the Panvel area. On September 2, the district administration had given this responsibility to the Controlling Officer.

The team was supposed to conduct an audit of medical bills wherein the patients’ families had any issue. Nidhi Chaudhary, district collector of Raigad district confirmed that the district administration has sought a status report from PMC administration.

Kadu alleged that the team did not conduct an audit, and private hospitals continued to overcharge bills rampantly.

Now, the district administration has sought a status report and action taken by the controlling officer. The district administration also directed the civic administration to take action against private hospitals who are charging more than the rate fixed by the state government.

When contacted, the municipal commissioner of PMC, Sudhakar Deshmukh, admitted to having received a letter from the district administration.

However, he said that there is a court stay on the rate fixed by the state government and that is why the audit of private hospital bills could not be conducted. He added that some people are complaining just of publicity while the ground reality is something else.

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