Pune, Aug 21 (PTI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday warned that if private hospitals are found to be involved in 'excessive profiteering' during the treatment of COVID-19 patients, their managements 'will not be spared' and action would be taken against them.
Talking to reporters here, he said clear instructions have been given to the district collectors and municipal commissioners to take action against the management of private hospitals in case they do not comply with the rules and regulations.
'Collectors and commissioners in the all the districts have been given instructions to be on the field to ensure that issues like over-charging by hospitals, their refusal to admit patients citing non-availability of beds, are curbed,' he said.
Auditors have been appointed at the hospitals to verify the bills, Tope said.
'If private hospital managements are found to be violating the rules and regulations and also found to be involved in profiteering, they will not be spared,' he said.
'The management of big private hospitals should take a humanitarian approach and earn reasonable profit and avoid excessive profiteering,' the minister said.
In case the complaints about overcharging continue, collectors and commissioners have been given the authority to file cases against the management of such hospitals, he added.
According to the minister, there are 1,000 hospitals that are listed under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, a state government scheme, and they are expected to offer free treatment under 20 COVID-19 related packages.
'If they do not provide free treatment to patients and found to be charging, then five times fine on the charged amount will be recovered from them,' he warned.
He said information about the scheme will be put up on the big hoardings in the city and toll-free numbers will be made available for grievance redressal.
Talking about COVID-19 cases in Pune, he said that as per the study of trends in Mumbai and Malegaon, a peak in infection cases comes before it goes down and becomes a plateau.
'As per that trend, there is a peak-like situation in Pune and that is why there is a surge in cases. But I am confident that it will definitely come down,' he added.
He said that the district administration is all prepared to ramp up the health care facilities in the city.
'Enough non-oxygen, oxygenated and ICU beds are being added,' he said. PTI SPK NP NP