The relatives of Arvind Kumar Singh paid Rs 1.6 lakh to Dwarika Hospital and Research Centre on Sunday after he was admitted to the facility for less than three days. Of this amount, Rs 1 lakh was billed to him for just 19 hours stay at the hospital’s ICU.
The incident came to light after JMM’s Jama MLA Sita Soren tweeted a copy of hospital bill. Chief Minister Hemant Soren took cognizance of the issue and directed Gupta to get it investigated and take stringent action against any such ‘loot’.
On the directions from Gupta, the Ranchi district administration contacted the patient’s family and a team led by Namkum CO was sent to conduct a probe on Monday. Talking to TOI, Ranchi SDM Utkarsh Gupta said: “The patient’s family said that they were charged exorbitantly by the hospital. As they did not want to file an FIR, the treatment charges were refunded to them.”
When TOI contacted relatives of other Covid patients’ at the hospital, they too said charged way more than the government-approved limits. In another incident, the same hospital slapped a bill of over Rs 3 lakh to a Covid-19 positive patient who was admitted on Saturday.
“My brother was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning with breathlessness and was on oxygen support. The hospital asked us to bring oxygen, which is required for seamless oxygen support as they did not had one. We provided them with that too. As we were not satisfied with the services, we decided to shift our patient and they charged us Rs 75,000 for a just six hours of oxygen-supported bed and other material,” said one.
When asked what the administration would do about such complaints from the same hospital, the Ranchi SDM said: “We will probe all such matters and, if required, patients will be refunded. Having said that, I urge all private hospitals to adhere to the price capping done by state government and help us in our fight against the virus.”