Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 1
Ten Covid patients in Chandigarh had received a refund from private hospitals of the amount overcharged from them. While the refund adds up to Rs5.56 lakh, some complaints are lying pending with sub-divisional magistrates.
The information was provided in response to an RTI application filed by this correspondent on the amount refunded by private hospitals after an intervention of the UT Health Department.
Eden Critical Care Hospital had refunded Rs5,20,011 to seven patients, while Care Partner Group refunded Rs17,300 to a complainant.
The UT Health Department had set up a helpline for Covid patients who were fleeced by private hospitals during treatment. The department had then directed hospitals to refund the amount charged in excess of the rates notified by the Chandigarh Administration.
The matter of refund was transferred to SDMs’ offices on June 10 and the complainants were asked to approach the SDM in their jurisdiction for refund.
Three complaints were received against Healing Hospital. Two complainants had withdrawn the complaint after refund but there was no record available with the Health Department of the amount refunded. One complaint was forwarded to the SDM (South). Four complaints were registered against Mukat Hospital, out of which three were transferred to the office of the SDM (South) on June 15, while one complaint was settled with a refund of Rs11,237. Two complaints were filed against Landmark Hospital, of which one was settled with a refund of Rs8,059 and another was transferred to the office of the SDM (South) on June 30. Private hospitals were found charging extra for oxygen, medicines and investigation even as these were inclusive of the package notified by the Chandigarh Administration on April 24. A sum of up to Rs9,600 per day extra was charged for oxygen. Despite procuring remdesivir for Rs1,300 from the UT Administration, the hospitals took up to Rs4,000 from patients who were given the drug.
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