“My father is suffering from corona infection. I tried to get him admitted in renowned and super specialty hospitals like BL Kapoor, Fortis, Max, Moolchand, Venkateswara, Holy Family and Apollo but nobody cared for him. He talked about not having beds. He said that if I can deposit 15-20 lakh rupees in advance, then something can happen, otherwise not. “
Mohit, who lives in Kotla Mubarakpur, Delhi, told about the difficulties faced in getting his corona infected and seriously ill father admitted.
Mohit had been trying to get his father admitted to a good hospital since June 7 and finally found him with difficulty in Rockland Hospital at Katwaria Sarai, Delhi on June 10. A non-government organization called ‘Charity Beds’ helped to recruit his father here, but Mohit had to wait for three days for this.
Mohit’s 62-year-old father was admitted to Delhi’s state-run LNJP hospital on June 3, but seeing the bad conditions there, Mohit decided to take him elsewhere.
Reduction in treatment arrangements and heavy expenses are not the only ones to suffer. Like him, many other people also shared similar information.
Hyder Ali, who lives in the Batla House area, said that after visiting at least five-six hospitals, his corona-infected wife could be admitted to a hospital in Hamdard Nagar. Hyder Ali alleges that before the patient was admitted, the hospital forced him to deposit one lakh rupees in cash.
Similarly, Vinay, who lives in Sadiq Nagar, contacted four-five private hospitals to get his Kovid-19 infected brother admitted, but nothing happened.
He told, “I had asked the metro hospital in Lajpat Nagar about the possible daily expenses and they told me that the expenditure would be around 25 thousand per day.”
Vinay thought of getting his brother admitted to the Government RML Hospital but the situation there was very bad.
He explains, “There was absolutely no cleanliness outside the hospital and inside the campus. There was such a crowd everywhere that people were clinging to each other like fly-mosquitoes. Tests were being done at one place, reports were being received there, and there was a cry of washing as soon as the news of someone’s death came. Seeing all this, I got very nervous and I thought that if my brother stays here, he will get sick. “
Heavy bill in Government Hospital Behala, Pvt.
Mohit, Hyder Ali and Vinay complain that the people suffering from Corona virus infection are disturbed by the chaos of government hospitals, lack of beds and testing, as well as the huge bill of private hospitals has created a situation of helplessness for them.
Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, President of Progressive Medicines and Scientists Forum, also believes that most private hospitals are taking an advance amount of up to Rs 5 lakh before the Kovid infected patients are admitted and daily expenses are coming up to around Rs 25,000.
Just a few days ago, a circular from Saroj Hospital in Rohini went viral on social media, stating that at least four lakh rupees would have to be paid in advance to enroll any Kovid patient.
After controversy and uproar, the hospital clarified that this is an old circular and now the rates have been changed.
When a news channel wanted to get information about this by calling Saroj Hospital, it was told that the daily expenditure to the General Ward would be 30-35 thousand and the daily expenditure of the ICU ward would be around 40-50 thousand.
For the last three days, a news team has been trying to collect information about empty beds, ventilators and expenses by calling in different hospitals in Delhi. The answers we got from the hospitals during this time are as follows:
Beds are available at the Fortis Escort Heart Institute, but for this a huge amount has to be paid. Daily expenditure of the bed – Rs 9000, a doctor’s visit – Rs 4200, ICU’s daily expenses – Rs 1 lakh and 50 thousand – 80 thousand rupees will have to be paid in advance before being admitted.
General ward and ICU beds are available at Sant Parmanand Hospital but not ventilators. The expenditure of five lakhs for advance in general ward and nine lakhs for ICU.
No beds are vacant in Batra Hospital, but if the patient’s condition is very critical and there is no insurance, then one can get a place in the ICU ward after paying advance payment of lakh rupees.
Beds are not empty at Dharamshala Narayan Hospital and many patients are already on the waiting list.
Teertharam Shah Hospital has beds but ventilators are not available. The hospital has four ventilators and there are patients on all, so serious patients are not admitted.
Sitaram Bhartia Institute has beds but no ventilators. So only those patients whose condition is stable are being admitted.
What has the government done about it so far?
Delhi government has instructed private hospitals to make public the list of every category related to Kovid-19.
The Delhi government has also asked for the cost of lab tests, beds, isolation beds, ICUs and ventilators to be displayed prominently at different places in the hospital.
The government has also said that a senior nursing officer will also be deployed in every private hospital, which will help the patients and bring their complaints to the government. A 24×7 helpline has also been started in every hospital.
However, the government has not fixed any limit on the total expenditure for treatment of Kovid-19.
Dr Nutan Mundeja, Head of Directorate General of Health, Government of Delhi told, “No cap has been imposed on the cost of treatment of Kovid-19 in Delhi. We do not have any legal provision to do so. Whether or not this will be possible in future, the government will decide. ”
How will this expenditure be curbed?
Dr. Girish Tyagi, president of the Delhi Medical Association, told that the government should talk to the representatives of the hospitals to curb the huge expenditure of private hospitals.
Dr. Tyagi suggests, “The government should ask different hospitals how much money they spend to treat a corona-infected patient and then set an average amount on the same basis and put a cap on this expenditure.”
Dr. Harjit Bhatti suggests that for a few months the Delhi government should take over management of some part of private hospitals.
He says, “The government should take over 20% of the Kovid beds from private hospitals. There they recruit patients, monitor their treatment costs and manage expenses. I do not think private hospitals will disagree with this proposal. “
Dr. Rajan Sharma, President of the Indian Medical Association, believes that in the current situation, ‘One Nation One Policy’ should be adopted to fight Corona.
He said, “It would be better to suddenly pass a one-sided order and declare legal action, that all parties should discuss together and then reach a decision.”
Doctor Rajan believes that in this era of epidemic there is a lot of pressure on private hospitals as it is not easy to take care of corona infected patient.
He said, “Doctors, nurses and other health care workers who are taking care of patients themselves are also under the grip of infection. After the corona is positive, the infected health workers and all the people who come in contact with it have to go for precautionary quarantine. In such a situation, there is a continuous shortage of staff in front of hospitals. The government should take all these aspects into consideration before issuing any order. “
How will the situation improve?
Dr. Harjit Bhatti suggests that in view of the shortage of staff in the hospital and the current challenges, the government can take the help of medical graduates who are doing internships or preparing for PG after MBBS degree.
He says, “All MBBS graduates are trained doctors. The government will just have to give them 10-15 days of training to take care of Kovid patients and after that they will be ready for duty. In this way we can meet the shortage of health workers in hospitals. ”
Dr. Harjeet says that in the end, the whole thing stops coming on investment in the health sector and governments still shy away from spending money here.
The Indian Supreme Court, while hearing a petition about two weeks ago, asked why the government could not treat the land free hospitals for Kovid patients free of cost.
The court also ordered the identification of hospitals that can treat corona-infected people at a low cost.
There has been debate in many other states of the country on the matter of arbitrary recovery from Kovid patients in private hospitals.
The Tamil Nadu government has issued an order this week after some such cases and has set an upper limit on the cost of corona treatment. He has set different rates for different categories of hospitals.
For example, if a Kovid-19 infected patient gets treatment in the General Ward of Grade-3 and Grade-4 hospitals in Tamil Nadu, then more than Rs 5,000 per day will not be charged. The maximum expenditure per day of the grade-1 and grade-2 hospitals will be Rs 7,500 and the cost of the ICU ward will be maximum Rs 15,000 per day.
Earlier, on 22 May last month, the Maharashtra government had fixed a maximum of Rs 9,000 per day for the treatment of corona infection.