The government of Telangana has capped the cost of conducting a Covid-19 test in a private lab at Rs 2,200 while the fee for treatment in an ICU without ventilator support is Rs 7,500 per day. It would be Rs 9,000 per day for those who are on ventilator support and for mere quarantine and treatment (not ICU) only Rs 4000 rupees. But most private hospitals blatantly violate these norms and are cashing in on the fear among Covid-19 patients.

There are many complaints of hefty bills against private hospitals in Hyderabad. Dr Sultana, Divisional Medical Officer (DMO) of the Government run Fever hospital, who was admitted with COVID-19 in Thumbay Hospital New Life in Chaderghat (old city of Hyderabad), was given a bill of  Rs 1.15 lakh for 24 hours of Covid-19 treatment.

According to reports, the hospital staff had detained her for paying only Rs. 40,000 and demanded her to pay the rest of the amount and leave the hospital.

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Dr. Sultana released a video about her bitter experience and complained to the police in writing. She wrote “I am a Covid warrior doctor. On 1st July 2020 midnight, I had breathing problems for which I was admitted at Thumbay hospital. Neither is the medicine good or nurses responsible. They did not give any medication on time. After 22 hours, I was discharged. A 1.15 lakh bill was given to me for a day. I paid Rs 40,000. I do not have money. They have detained me. Please help”.

She was later shifted to govt run super specialty hospital NIMS. The Health minister ordered free treatment for her.  Not only corona warrior Dr. Sultana, but also many patients who undergo treatment in private hospitals are given bills amounting to lakhs. The Tumbey hospital management said that she fought with hospital staff so many nurses refused to treat her.

When NewsX contacted the industrialist and health care expert Dr. Gedela Srinubabu, he said, “Due to better facilities, we all demanded Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals at affordable prices. However, many hospitals are violating norms. I request the government of Telangana to keep an eye on such hospitals and take stringent action on them. Only then will they fall in line.”

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