The Bengaluru Urban District’s grievance redressal authority has ordered 14 hospitals to refund Rs 81 lakh in excess charges that they had billed and collected from patients. A dozen of the cases involved patients infected with Covid-19.
Since March of this year, the authority has received 44 complaints of extra-billing and medical negligence. Around, 23 complaints Covid-19 patients infected during the second wave, and 27 complaints about extra billing. Three of the 27 people were not Covid patients.
The cases were filed under the provisions of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, and the bulk of them was resolved. Officials stated that in some cases, the hospitals discovered not to be at fault. However, the exact number of cases decided in favour of victims is unknown.
Bengaluru: Patients charged Rs 80 lakh extra, 14 hospitals ordered to refund https://t.co/HvxDeIyrCE
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Patients losing trust over hospitals
“In some cases, complainants said due care was not taken,” J Manjunath, Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban district stated. “In a couple of cases, the patients’ families had issues with information dissemination from the hospital on the patient’s health. In some cases, the complainants questioned the delay in handing over bodies to relatives.”
A 60-year-old Covid patient diagnosed for 50 days, one of the case. For 23 days, he was in the Covid ward, and for the next 27 days, he was in the non-Covid ward. The hospital allegedly overcharged the patient’s family by Rs 3.5 lakh. The affected person’s family gained the majority vote in the committee. A personal hospital ordered to repay a complainant Rs 5 lakh in another case by the committee.
Officers note out, however, that the number of complaints is a small percentage of the overall number of Covid-infected people who sought hospital treatment.
In conclusion, Dr. HM Prasanna, Head of the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), stated, for instance, if hospitals found responsible and might punished. “We don’t stand with hospitals that violate government norms. Hospitals must stick to price caps when billing Covid patients. We had issued an advisory on this.”