B'luru private hospital forced to return money to Covid patients

Updated July 28, 2020

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IANS

Bengaluru, July 28 (IANS) A city-based private hospital has been forced to return lakhs of rupees of advance money it had collected from Covid patients referred to it by the government for treatment, which should have been free as the cost is borne by the state, an official said on Tuesday.

"The hospital is refunding lakhs of (rupees) of advance taken from the Covid patients. The bill is charged on the government (SAST - Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust); thanks to the hospital for compliance," said senior IPS officer D. Roopa.

She said her team members ensured that the excess money was refunded, the patients were provided free treatment, and the bill was sent to the government.

Reportedly, 22 patients are being refunded a total sum of Rs 24 lakh.

"The government of Karnataka has fixed limits of rates for charging Covid patients by the hospitals. To ensure this, I along with my team visited a hospital and spoke to the admitted patients and found discrepancies. The hospital has agreed to refund the excess amount charged," said Roopa.

IAS officer Harsh Gupta and others are part of the team led by Roopa, which is entrusted with overseeing three hospitals.

"My team has ensured that such things don't happen in the three hospitals under our supervision. The other teams are also doing a great job," she said.

On July 19, Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar had tasked seven teams of senior officers to micro-manage 31 private hospitals to streamline them for government referrals.

The three hospitals entrusted with Roopa's team are BGS Global Institute of Medical Science and Hospital in Kengeri, Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital in Kambipura Mysuru Road and SSNMC Super Specialty Hospital in Rajarajeshwari Nagar.

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