Unauthorised pvt hosp treats at least 10 COVID-19 patients; charging hefty rates

Noida: Since Gautam Buddh Nagar district has seen a spurt in positive cases in the past fortnight, unauthorised private hospitals in Noida have now started treating COVID-19 patients and are charging a hefty amount in the name of treatment. In a relevant incident, a 30-year-old man from a high-rise residential society in Greater Noida is one among a group of nine to ten COVID-19 patients who are being treated at Fortis hospital in Noida Sector 62.

The patient reportedly complained of cough, fever and uneasiness in breathing. When he visited Fortis hospital he was prescribed by a doctor to get himself tested and his swab samples were sent to SRL laboratories. He was admitted there for first aid and his reports the next day showed he was positive for the contagious disease.

As Fortis is not yet authorised by the district administration for treatment of COVID patients, the hospital management cited a huge rush and lack of vacant beds in designated hospitals when the family insisted to shift the patient into a government facility.

"When we asked where we'll be getting treatment, they told us that since beds are not available at designated COVID hospitals in the district, the treatment will continue here," said Ram (name changed), the patient's elder brother, adding that Rs 20,000 admission fee was also charged.

"The doctor told us that it will cost nearly Rs 1,10,000 for two days and the treatment will continue for at least the next 15 days. There were nine more COVID-19 positive patients getting treated at R block of the hospital and we are left with no other option but to get the treatment continued" Ram added.

Significantly, there are only five designated hospitals, including two private hospitals - Sharda and Kailash hospitals, for treating COVID-19 patients while the final decision on the functioning of private hospitals to treat these patients is yet to be taken. "Hospitals namely Fortis, Jaypee, Kailash and Yatharth have submitted their proposals to the CMO to function as dedicated commercial COVID hospitals and they have been asked to self regulate prices. Plans are being worked out and soon we will take appropriate decision on allowing them to provide treatment to COVID patients" said Suhas LY, district magistrate, Gautam Buddh Nagar.

"There are around 250 active patients in the district against a total capacity of 900 beds at five dedicated COVID hospitals. Nearly 650 beds are still vacant and we are working to further increase the count" the DM added.

The DM's information on the availability of beds rules out Fortis Hospital's claim of bed shortage at designated facilities.

The Millennium Post contacted an official of Fortis hospital who said that the hospital is not authorised to treat positive patients and only testing can be done, that too only on doctor's prescription. "If any patient is reported positive while receiving treatment at Fortis hospital, we inform the CMO of Noida and the patient is then shifted to designated COVID hospital," the official said.

Meanwhile, Ram also said that he informed the district administration about positive reports of his brother through the COVID helpline. "It's been three days now and no one from the health department or district administration has extended their support to get us tested while the flat or residential tower is yet to get sealed or sanitized. We are also not clear whether he will be counted in the district COVID positive patient's tally or not" he said.

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