KAKINADA: Private diagnostic laboratories are fleecing Covid-19 patients in the name of different tests as the virus is ravaging the state. Apart from private and corporate hospitals, the laboratories are extorting huge sums of money for various tests.
Even in cases, where it is not necessary, it is alleged that some doctors are prescribing even C.T. scan twice or thrice, thus benefiting the laboratories which are allegedly sharing profits with them. Before Covid-19, the labs used to charge Rs 75 to Rs100 for diabetes tests. Now, they are charging Rs 175 to Rs 350 for the test.
The government has fixed charges for RT-PCR at Rs 499, Rapid Antigen Test at Rs 230 and CT Scan at Rs 3,000. But neither the laboratories nor private hospitals are offering tests at these rates. They are charging R 1,200 to R 2,500 for RT-PCR and rapid tests alone. There is no check.
However, District Medical and Health Officer K.V.S. Gowreeswara Rao said that stringent action would be taken against the laboratories, if they are charging more than the charges fixed by the government. He appealed to the patients to inform if any laboratories are overcharging them.
Meanwhile, a patient developed Covid-19 symptoms and took a Covid-19 test. But the test result showed ‘negative.’ When he went back to his doctor, he prescribed tests again along with CBP, CRP, LDH, D.Dimer and others. He even prescribed C.T. scan for chest.
A laboratory in Rajamahendravaram charged Rs 17,000 for these tests. For the past 20 days, he made these tests in two instalments. The doctor recommended him to undergo the same tests another time. “I am unable to bear such huge costs for laboratory tests. When I want to go to the government hospitals for these tests, the situation there is not favourable,’’ he said.
In Kakinada also, the laboratories are fleecing the patients exorbitantly. Four members of a family of a private employee in a rice mill at Kakinada contracted Covid-19. He spent Rs 20,000 so far and he tested ‘negative,’ but his doctor said he would call for the same tests after a week. He said that he was at a loss to raise money for further tests.
The Covid-19 patients urge Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to pay attention to exploitation by the laboratories and their nexus with doctors....