COVID-19 apart from the numerous logistical, infrastructural and economic inefficiencies has also given way to many duping practices and errors. With the caseload on the increase, these gaps will only grow bigger. Unless there are people keeping an eye out for it.
A team led by IPS Officer D Roopa and IAS officer Harsh Gupta have found out the inaccurate charges against COVID-19 patients made by the hospitals they are overseeing. A total of Rs 24 lakhs across the three hospitals are being refunded to patients.
Bengaluru hospitals overcharging get caught
22 COVID-19 patients recently unknowingly were charged more than necessary by three hospitals in Bengaluru. The 22 patients were admitted at government hospitals for treatment. A team lead by Senior IPS Officer D Roopa and IAS Officer Harsh Gupta along with nodal officers AEE Ashok Gowda had found something amiss in the records.
The BGS Global Institute of Medical Science and Hospital in Kengeri, Rajarajeshwari Hospital on Mysore Road and SSNMC Super Speciality Hospital in Rajarajeshwari Nagar were assigned to IPS Officer D Roopa and IAS officer Harsh Gupta as one of the 8 teams the Karnataka government set up in Bengaluru.
In a tweet three days ago, D Roopa said, "My team, with enforcement minded HarshGuptaIAS, has ensured that govt rates are followed by hospitals. Painstakingly, nodal officer Ashok Gowda, AEE, has collected details of 22 patients overcharged. Their bank a/c no taken. Amount of 24lacs as in pic, will be remitted back to patients."
What such a case shows is that this could be happening more often than we know in other parts of the city and other hospitals. It does demand that similar checks be conducted on the rest of the city's hospitals.
On Monday the IPS Officer said online, "Hospital refunded lakhs of advance taken from COVID patients. Bill is charged on Govt (SAST-SuvarnaArogyaTrust in col 8 of pics). Even private COVID patients given totally free treatment. Thnx to hospital fr compliance. My team of Harsh Gupta IAS& others ensured this in public good."
Netizens and citizens have raised concerns about these cases only being the surface of much larger issue, but IPS officer D Roopa assured in her tweet, "My team has ensured that it doesn't happen in three hospitals given to us for supervision. Chief Secretary sir has distributed responsibilities. Other teams are also doing great job. Hope they also focus on extra-billing aspect. Thanks to like-minded Harsh Gupta IAS team, we could do this. (sic)"
A patient's relative said in a video: "I would like to thank the Government of Karnataka for putting in full efforts to see to that she gets the government care and the charges that are charged have been reimbursed to her bank account. This is a very good effort by the government of Karnataka to help all the infected patients and their family."