Private hospitals demand caution deposit from COVID-19 patients

Deccan Chronicle.  | Kaniza Garari

Nation, Crime

There is now a case in every lane and corner of Hyderabad and as testing accelerates it will become harder to manage

Representational picture shows a covid patient being treated at a private hospital. (AFP photo)

Hyderabad: Private hospitals are demanding additional charges from Covid 19 patients for possible complications. This money has to be paid before admission. Those who cannot pay are being told there are no beds.

Senior doctors who are referring patients to hospitals are finding themselves at the receiving end as the patients in a severe condition are having to go from one hospital to another, if they are unable to make the payment. This has also put them in a fix as they are not sure which hospitals they can refer their family and friends to.

A senior doctor, who faced the predicament, told Deccan Chronicle, “The patient was short of Rs 50,000 and I had to give my word to the hospital that it will be paid.”

The deposits are said to range from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Some hospitals charge Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 as deposit. They state that these amounts are collected in advance for additional expenses for personal protection equipment, isolation wards and disinfection.

Hospitals say this is one of the prime reasons that mild cases are urged to be managed at home for those who have the facility of an extra room and bathroom.

But those who do not have the facility are in a fix. A family of six or 14 members when infected together has no one to take care of them. They all cannot be managed at home.  

All of them are rushing to hospitals. There is now a case in every lane and corner of the city and as testing accelerates it is becoming more and more difficult to manage.

Mujtaba Hasan Askari, president of Helping Hand Foundation, said, “Home care is possible for the upper middle class. But there are many who are not able to understand doctors instructions on video counselling. These are becoming a challenge to manage at home level."

Meanwhile, an appeal has been made to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to impose curfew in Old City as 15 per cent symptomatic patients are rushing to hospitals and five per cent of them are turning critical. Most of these patients are not able to afford private hospitals and are trying for admission in government hospitals.