Complaints of PPE overpricing
The state’s regulatory commission for private hospitals has received several complaints over the past few weeks that healthcare units are overcharging patients for personal protective equipment and N95 masks.
The state government, worried over the rise in the number complaints about malpractice in regard to protective gear for Covid-19, is trying to figure out what could be the actual price range for such items and how to address the issue, said officials.
A Calcuttan has alleged that a private hospital off EM Bypass has charged Rs 84,000 for 20 hours for treating vertigo. The charges include Rs 12,000 for PPE and Rs 2,000 for masks.
“.... charges Rs 84000, Covid 19 (test) and investigation checkup charges 35000, PPE kits 12000 for 4 persons and 2000 for mask for 4 persons for one day,” the man wrote in a social media post. A purported photograph of the bill has also been posted.
Officials of the hospital said they were not aware of the incident.
“We have received some complaints that private hospitals are overcharging patients for PPE and masks. We’ll be dealing with these complaints at an appropriate time,” retired judge Ashim Kumar Banerjee, the chairperson of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission, said on Saturday.
The commission, set up by the Mamata Banerjee government, is the regulatory body for private hospitals and nursing homes in the state.
The Telegraph has reported how the commission had expressed concerns about overcharging patients for PPE by some private hospitals.