Services of some private hospitals court controversy; Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
GUWAHATI: While majority of private hospitals are not coming forward to respond positively to the Assam Government's appeal to take the responsibility of COVID-19 management, some of them are treating COVID positive patients at their own whims and fancies.
"Besides charging exorbitant amount for treatment, some private hospitals become indifferent to the patients once the health condition of the latter becomes critical. There are instances when critical COVID-19 positive patients being referred to the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) and other government hospitals," a source said, adding that the State Health department is extremely unhappy over the development.
Relatives of some COVID positive patients have alleged that some private hospitals are providing treatment with the sole intention of looting money. "Recently I visited a leading private hospital after one of my relatives tested COVID positive. When I enquired about treatment facilities available at the hospital, the officials present at the reception and help desks categorically told me that they prefer rich patients as the poor ones cannot afford to pay the bills. Finally my relative was sent to the Khanapara COVID Care Centre," Paresh Haloi (name changed) of Lachit Nagar said.
In another incident, a city-based private hospital on Thursday allegedly released the body of a patient after collecting a huge amount of money from his family members. The patient was tested COVID positive after his death and the body was released after four days of his report came. The family members were not even told that the patient was tested COVID positive till they paid the hospital bills. Once the bills were paid the family members were informed about the COVID positive test report.
Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently said that the majority of private hospitals are not coming forward to treat COVID-positive patients citing various reasons.
On other hand, many doctors at private hospitals are allegedly showing reluctance to treat critical patients fearing that the latter might have the corona virus infection. Some doctors at private hospitals are first demanding COVID negative certificates even from critical and emergency patients before starting treatment.
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