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Covid-19: Maharashtra Govt Sets up Flying Squads to Check if Hospitals, Ambulances are Overcharging

Representative image.

Representative image.

The government, by an order on May 21, had fixed upper limits for charges of private hospitals. Another order, on June 30, fixed rates for private ambulances.

The Maharashtra government has set up flying squads to inspect if hospitals and ambulances are taking exorbitant charges from COVID-19 patients, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday.

The government had repeatedly issues directives to officials to act on complaints about hospitals and ambulances charging exorbitant rates, he said.

"To check if the decisions are being implemented, flying squads have been set up. Divisional commissioners, district collectors and municipal commissioners have been told that inspection reports should be submitted in three days," Tope added.

The government, by an order on May 21, had fixed upper limits for charges of private hospitals. Another order, on June 30, fixed rates for private ambulances.

But despite government orders, private hospitals are still charging exorbitant rates, the minister noted.

Flying squads will verify if the government decisions aimed at providing relief to COVID-19 patients are being implemented by hospitals, he said.

They will check, among other things, if private hospitals have displayed the government orders at their main gates, Tope added.

There should be a system to audit the final bills issued to coronavirus patients by private hospitals and rates charged by private ambulances should also be audited, he said.

The flying squads should also inspect if the cashless treatment facility has been made available to patients under the Janarogya (insurance) scheme, the minister said.

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