Following complaints of overcharging of COVID-19 patients, the Department of Health and Family Welfare has served notice on two private hospitals in Kalaburagi — Vaatsalya LIFE Hospital, off Sedam Road, and Dhanvantari Hospital near Rama Mandir Circle — seeking an explanation for the alleged violation of the price caps set by the government for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Responding to queries from journalists at his office here on Saturday, Rajashekhar S. Mali, District Health and Family Welfare Officer, said that Dhanvantari Hospital had returned the excess amount collected from patients. “The government has fixed different rates for different services offered to COVID-19 patients by private healthcare providers. We had, by issuing a circular, directed private hospitals not to overcharge. Yet, there were some complaints of exorbitant bills at these two hospitals. We have issued notice to them seeking explanation, and Dhanvantari Hospital has already returned the excess amount it collected to the concerned,” he said.
To queries about the availability of ventilators in the district, Mr. Mali said there has never been a dearth of ventilators in the district. “We in the public sector have 92 ventilators in the district and only 20 people were required to be put on ventilators as on Friday. We have put two ventilators in each taluk,” he said.
Mr. Mali also said that his department, as part of efforts to curb different worms in the human body that affect the physical growth of children bellow 19 years, plans to conduct deworming drives between September 7 and 21. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, anganwadi workers and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) will visit each and every house in the district and distribute Albendazole tablets. “Normally, the anti-worm tablets are distributed at anganwadi centres during National Deworming Day campaign every year. This year, however, the anganwadi workers and ASHAs will distribute them at the doorsteps of the children, given the pandemic. Apart from anganwadi workers, as many as 1,845 ASHAs will also be involved. As many as 10,32,377 children and teenagers are expected to be covered under the campaign this year,” he said.