Hyderabad, Sep 10 (PTI) The Telangana government has constituted a task force of IAS officers to oversee the working of private hospitals in treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The decision to form the task force was taken following complaints against private hospitals for not adhering to the maximum rates specified by the government.
The task force comprises Rahul Bojja, Sarfaraz Ahmad and D Divya, all IAS officers, according to a Government Order (GO) dated September 9.
The GO recalled that the government had issued orders specifying the maximum rates chargeable by private hospitals for various services provided by them for the treatment of COVID-19.
The order said it was also stipulated that the private hospitals shall display the rates at prominent places on their premises and that it shall be the duty of the private hospital concerned to explain to the patient/relatives about charges for various services.
It said complaints are being received from time to time about non-adherence to the maximum rates chargeable (as per the orders) and also to the COVID-19 treatment/safety protocols by private hospitals.
The matter had been examined by the government and it was decided to constitute the task force at the state-level to oversee the working of private hospitals in treatment of COVID-19, the order said.
The terms of reference of the task force shall be to verify that the maximum rates stipulated by the government and the COVID-19 treatment and safety protocols are being adhered to by the private hospitals, the GO said.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar presided over the first meeting of the panel on Thursday, an official release said.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday said in the Legislative Assembly that the state government would appoint a task force to monitor the fees being charged by private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.
He assured members that tough action would be taken against the hospitals trying to fleece patients.
'It is very atrocious, is this the time (during the pandemic) to earn money, at a time when the whole world is suffering. We will appoint a task force with a senior IAS officer and take their report,' he said in the Assembly during a short discussion on the COVID-19 situation.
Rao was responding to Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarkas comments over allegations that private hospitals charged exorbitant fees for COVID-19 treatment.
The state government had earlier barred some hospitals from treating COVID-19 patients on complaints over billing.
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