Jalandhar's Patel Hospital found charging more than capped amount

Levied extra charges for PPE kit, doc fee | DC writes to Addl Secy

Jalandhar's Patel Hospital found charging more than capped amount

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 9

A formal inquiry conducted by the administration has found Jalandhar-based Patel Hospital violating government norms and overcharging for the RT-PCR Covid-19 test.

Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori has written to the Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, seeking “requisite action as per law” against the hospital for violating government orders and charging Rs3,100 extra (more than the capped price) from a patient for Covid-19 test.

The move comes in the wake of an audit already ordered against Patel Hospital by Special Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, who wrote to the Director, PGIMER, to look into the unusually high positivity among Covid patients at the hospital.

The investigation report by the Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Jalandhar, which has also been forwarded by the DC to the Additional Chief Secretary, concludes: “Patel Hospital has erroneously or wilfully charged more than directed by government for Covid-19 test and is liable for appropriate action for violating the orders of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, dated 18/7/2020.”

In his complaint to the DC, submitted on July 22, Rajiv Makol had stated that he had been charged Rs5,500 for the Covid-19 test by the Patel Hospital, for which the rate has been capped by the state government at Rs2,400. The inquiry report on the issue (marked by DC to Assistant Commissioner Grievances) stated that the hospital had levied extra charges of Rs3,100 for “PPE kit, doctor fee etc.” in violation of the government order.

Probe report by Asst Commissioner (G)...

Patel Hospital has rightly charged Rs2,400 for Covid-19 test, but another Rs3,100 has been charged under PPE kit, doctor fee etc. As such, the hospital was well aware of the order of the government. The proposition put forward by Dr Swapan Sood (from Patel Hospital) said the amount of Rs2,400 does not include the charges for personal protective equipment required to protect the healthcare workers from the high risk of infection and doctor charges for sample collection holds no ground in the face of the government order, where it is expressly said that all testing protocol of ICMR and Government of India will be followed by private laboratory.

79 test +ve in district

A total of 79 persons tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, taking the tally to 3,956. With two more deaths, the toll increased to 77 in Jalandhar district. One of the deceased is a 58-year-old woman from Dhilwan, Kapurthala, who died at a private hospital in Jalandhar. Meanwhile, nine persons tested positive in Kapurthala district.

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