Karnataka High Court has directed the government to publish advertisements in newspapers and put information on the website of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to facilitate people to lodge complaints against private hospitals which have charged excess fees for the Covid treatment. The divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, which took up the inquiry of slew of petitions submitted regarding the Covid management on Monday has asked the government to provide information about the action taken on private hospitals which have charged excess fee violating the government guidelines on treatment of Covid-19 patients. The bench also directed the government and BBMP to furnish details of excess fee being returned to the Covid patients during the time of next hearing. The counsel for the government submitted to the court that they have given the list of hospitals which have charged an excess fee for treating Covid patients. The private hospitals have collected Rs 1,98,83,498 excess amount from the patients referred by the government hospitals and so far have returned Rs 32,22,352 to patients. They had collected Rs 1,55,91,845 excess fee for treatment of Covid patients who were admitted to private hospitals directly and they have made repayment of Rs 10, 42,339 to patients. ‘Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust’ helpline set up to receive complaints on this matter has registered 1,325 cases so far, he informed the court. The government has fixed Rs 10,000 for general ward, Rs 15,000 for ICU without ventilator, Rs 12,000 for HDU and Rs 25,000 for ICU with ventilator facility. The government has stated that, if private hospitals charge more than the prescribed amount and in case of refusal for treatment of Covid patients, they will be booked under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) Act and National Disaster Management Act (NDMA).
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