As part of its crackdown against private hospitals which are accused of levying exorbitant fees from citizens, another five hospitals — Image Hospital in Ameerpet, Hyderabad; Ankura Hospital in LB Nagar, Ranga Reddy district; Sia Life Hospital in Kondapur, Ranga Reddy district; Panchavati Hospital in Bhoothpur, Mahabubnagar district; and Sai Siddartha Hospital, in Shapur Nagar, Sanga Reddy district — were on Saturday barred from treating COVID-19 cases by the Director of Public Health. So far, a total of 10 private hospitals have been denied permission to treat COVID-19 patients after they were found to be violating the Government Order which had fixed a cap on the treatment.
According to the Director of Public Health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao, in the last four days (since May 26) they have received a total of 115 complaints against private hospitals, out of which 79 of them were issued show cause notices. As per the orders, the hospitals found guilty of violating the Government Orders shall not be allowed to admit any new COVID-19 patient.
The crackdown against private hospitals began after violence broke out in Virinchi Hospital in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. On Thursday, accusing Virinchi Hospital of medical negligence, which allegedly led to the death of a COVID-19 patient identified as Vamshi Krishna, the deceased’s family members and relatives attacked doctors and damaged the furniture in the hospital.
Subsequently, a probe was initiated against the hospital. Seeking a detailed explanation from the management, the Health Department had issued a show cause notice. However, as the hospital failed to respond to the notice, the permission of the hospital to treat COVID-19 cases under the Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act 2002 and Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 was cancelled.
The Health Department had warned that the government will cancel the licences of the hospitals if they continued to fleece patients. “It is hereby warned that any hospital found guilty of violating established protocols/norms/guidelines, will be subjected to suitable disciplinary action,” the Director of Public Health said.
As per the price ceiling fixed by the Telangana government in June 2020, a patient availing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with ventilator will be charged Rs 9,000 per day, excluding charges of PPE kits, CT, MRI and PET scans; the charges are Rs 7,500 per day for treatment in ICU without a ventilator; and the cost for treatment in the general ward is capped at Rs 4,000 per day