Licence for Covid-19 treatment was temporarily cancelled for three city hospitals Bewell Hospital in Kilpauk, Appasamy Hospitals in Arumbakkam and Hindu Mission Hospital in Tambaram besides SRM Medical Hospital, Trichy, City Hospital, Virudhunagar, Priyam Hospital, Salem, Sri Lakshmi Medical Centre, Coimbatore, City Hospital, Thoothukudi and Scudder Memorial Hospital, Ranipet, till last Wednesday. “We conducted inquiries based on complaints from patients or their relatives. Most of them were related to charging more than what was prescribed by the government. The hospitals were issued showcause notices before action was initiated against them,” said director of medical services Dr S Gurunathan. In June, the state health department issued orders capping the price for tests and treatment of Covid-19. While beneficiaries under the chief minister’s health insurance scheme admitted to private hospitals can be charged between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 a day depending on whether the patient was admitted to a general ward or was put on ventilator in ICU, non-beneficiaries could be charged Rs 7,500 a day in A1 and A2 grade hospitals and Rs 5,000 a day in A3 to A6 hospitals. Cost for critical care was fixed at Rs15,000 per day.
Officials said hospitals were given the option to refund the excess fee collected from patients. Eighteen hospitals, 16 in Chennai and two in Coimbatore, have returned the money.
The list of 18 hospitals that repaid patients excess amount are: SRM Medical College Hospital, Chettinad Hospital, Dr Kamatchi Memorial Hospital, Dr Mehta’s Hospital, Hycare Hospital, SIMS Hospital, MMRV Hospital, Prashanth Hospitals, Venkateswara Hospital, Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road and Vanagaram, Appaswamy Hospital, Chennai National Hospital, MGM Hospital, Vijaya Hospital and Srinivas Priya Hospital in Chennai, KCMCH and GKNM Hospital in Coimbatore.