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The private hi profile hospitals, if not all, but majority of them have been charging exorbitantly from the patients who by compulsion go to these hospitals for treatment of critical illnesses or dreaded deseases like dengue thinking that at least after treatment they wiil be charged, though more from the government hospitals but in a limit that would be within their reach.
There had been hundred of instances of alleged exploitation of patients of the middle class and even those at the lowest ebb who had been allegedly duped of all their savings and had to even sell their properties to make payments of the highly inflated treatment bills beyond expectation. In some of the cases even after the treatment the patients allegedly die and the body (corpse) of the deceased is not handed to the relatives, parents or near and dear ones’ untill he or she does’nt make the full payment which comes into several lakhs
The newspapers and the news channels of the country have been crying hoarse on such incidents, highlighting such shocking episodes but of no awail. The recent anguishing incident of a girl named Adya suffering from acute dengue living in Gurgaon who died after several days of treatment, few days ago whose father was compelled to make the upfront payment of Rs 18 lakhs and another incident earlier to that of a 31 year old patient whose family was arbitrarily charged a whopping amount of 31 lakhs even after this unfortunate patient could not be saved are two such incidents which makes it abudantly and absolutely clear as to how badly these private sector hospitals are exploiting the people without any governmental regulation whereas the fact of the matter is that as per the Clinical Establishment Act these hospitals are bound to charge the rates settled and fixed by the government which are usually within the reach of the patients.
But in view of no or negligible regulations by the governmental authorities the hospital of private sectors loaded with overhead expenses, charge the patients exorbitantly on illogical basis given an impression of being the clear cut exploiting agencies than hospitals to treat and save the lives of innocent patients within the prescribed charging limits of the government’s Clinical Establishment Act which is mandatory to be followed. There are primarily two reasons for the rush of patients to hi profile private hospitals despite the fact that they charge arbitrarily and excessively.
One, the hospitals of the government sector are not fully equipped with adequate medical facilities, docters, surgeons, medicines, hi tech equipments and the know how and are not in good numbers in commensurate with private hospitals or clinics in the country and secondly being in little numbers devoid of adequate facilities, not able to cope with the patients and secondly the increasing rush of the poor and lower middle class patients with critical illnesses or the cases like Dengue which deteriorate and are compelled to go to private hospitals in the hope of better and hi tech treatments thus being constrained to pay heavily despite not within their reach to pay.
Moreover, the rules regarding giving free treatment and life saving surgeries to 25% of the patients as directed by the Apex court for the poor and economically deprived patients are also not adhered to and are instead either shown the door or charged heftly. There have hundreds of such instances when the poor patients have to be compelled to go for expensive treatments and even if they are given the free or concessional treatment option in some selective cases, the formalities are so complex and tedious that the poor and hapless patients finally loose all hopes of being alive. Sounds shocking that even in the health sector which is primarily the government’s responsibility to make cheap and convenient treatmet available to the citizens of the country the governmental agencies are literally doing nothing to come to the rescue of the poor, under privileged, hapless lower middle and middle class patients of the country who are being constantly falling prey to the exploitative shackles of the sharks active in the private health sectors under the guise of medical tourism, with the one point motive to derive handsome profits. The rich, affluent and the politicians in power or opposition get total privileges and advantages of the treatments and surgeries of these hi profile hospitals under cashless provisions but where will others go is a moot question. Will the government honestly regulate these private hospitals symbolising themselves as SHARKS and come to the rescue of the AAM AADMI is a genuine question that needs an immediate answer. WHAT DO YOU SAY FRIENDS?
SUNIL NEGI