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Exploitation by private hospitals shameful: Telangana minister

IANS Jul 31, 2020

Telangana Minister on July 30 said that the exploitation by private hospitals in times of the COVID-19 pandemic is deplorable.

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"Exploitation in these times by private hospitals is deplorable and a shame," the Minister, the son of Chief Minister, tweeted in response to a tweet by a man, who lost his parents and brother to COVID-19 and had to pay Rs 40 lakh for their treatment. A man alleged that the hospital refused to hand over the body of his father for non-payment of the entire bill. He said the hospital also acted with negligence in providing them service.

The Minister, who is Minister for Industry, Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, requested the Health Minister to take "strictest action against these irresponsible institutions". He tweeted that he was deeply anguished on hearing about the tragic loss of the man's family members. Many Twitter users commented that the state government has failed to check the exploitation by private hospitals in times of pandemic. They wanted the government to take some concrete action, instead of making mere statements.

In another incident highlighting the insensitivity being displayed by some private hospitals, a police constable said he lost his wife after five private hospitals refused to admit her and even the state-run Gandhi Hospital denied her admission. A constable, under Rachakonda police commissionerate, narrated his experience at a meeting organised to welcome 45 policemen who returned to duty after recovering from COVID. "I was helpless when my wife was struggling for oxygen and breathed his last in front of my eyes," the policeman said while trying to fight back his tears. He said his wife had lung problems but the private hospitals refused to admit her. Even at Gandhi Hospital, they were denied entry on the ground that she was not COVID-19 positive.

Several instances of patients losing their lives while running from one hospital to another have emerged in recent weeks. The state government, however, continues to be in denial mode and claims that vested interests are making the allegations to malign it. The Telangana High Court on July 29 issued notices to the Central and state government and others for inaction on private hospitals. The court issued the notice in response to a petition claiming that the government failed to act against private hospitals charging exorbitantly from COVID-19 patients.

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