Pvt hosp charges COVID-19 patient over Rs 10 lakh
Kolkata: A private hospital off Eastern Metropolitan bypass has charged Rs 10.39 lakh from a person suffering from COVID-19.
Prasanta Kumar Sinha aged about 55 years and a resident of Middle Road, Santoshpur was admitted to Ruby General Hospital on July 29.
He had COVID-19 along with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
On August 4, the private hospital authorities handed over a provisional estimate to his family members for the first 14 days of his treatment and told them that the final bill may, however, vary depending on the treatment provided.
According to the bill (a copy of which has been accessed by Millennium Post) for 14 days Rs 1.75 lakh would be charged for bed, that is, Rs 12,500 per day.
For the investigation, the hospital charged Rs 2.15 lakh. The consultation fee of the doctors was Rs 28,000 which was minimum in comparison to the other components.
For medicines and consumables, the patient was charged Rs 4.99 lakh. Other charges including oxygen, private sister, blood ventilator, syringe pump, other equipment etc Rs 1.22 lakh was charged, taking the total to Rs 10.39 lakh.
Over the past fortnight, various people have raised their concern against inflated billing by private hospitals and nursing homes while treating Covid patients. Moreover, the government has also issued an advisory refraining private hospitals from overcharging the patients.
Meanwhile, doctors preferring anonymity said: "If the bills are analyzed, there are three components, the consultation fees of the doctor which is minimum, investigations and ward medicines and consumables.
The doctors maintained that the patients have to buy the safety gears like the PPE kits, face masks, full gowns, sterile gloves and nursing caps.
They have to buy three sets of safety gears for the doctors, nurses, ward boys and other staff for six to 10 persons who come to attend them on shifts.
According to some doctors, private hospitals tend to keep the Corona patients until they test negative flouting the direction of the ICMR. The management staff of the hospitals convince the patient and
their relatives that unless they are found Covid negative it will not be wise to release the patient.
The patient and the family members who are mortally scared say yes to the proposal resulting in skyrocketing of the bill.
The ICMR has categorically said in its guideline that seven days after someone tests COVID-19 positive if it is found that the patient has no fever for three consecutive days along with the absence of any symptom, the doctor can release the patient without any further tests from any hospital or safe home facility. The patient will then have to remain in home isolation for another seven days.
A senior cardiothoracic surgeon said: "When we used to conduct surgeries, the patient did not have to pay for the gloves or the mask. It is the responsibility of the hospitals to provide PPE kits. So when some hospital is accepting COVID-19 patients then it should not ask him to buy the safety kits."