Poor Patients Denied Treatment for Dengue as Lack of Infrastructure Plagues Hospitals
With the average dengue treatment cost capped at around Rs 40,000 as per medical practitioners, a lot of poor patients have been suffering from dengue and are being refused treatment under the state-run Aarogyasri health insurance scheme.
As Andhra Pradesh and Telangana continue to face the menace of mosquito-borne diseases, there seems to be no relief in sight as the number of cases keep increasing numbers. Amidst the rise in numbers, the infrastructure facilities are creating problems for a number of people, especially the poor. With the average dengue treatment cost capped at around Rs 40,000 as per medical practitioners, a lot of poor patients have been suffering from dengue and are being refused treatment under the state-run Aarogyasri health insurance scheme.
The ever-increasing cases of dengue have led to a shortage of beds in hospitals. The situation, in turn, is serving as an excuse to turn away poor patients, an insider informed The Times of India. In fact, dengue and related complications are not even covered under the empanelled list of diseases. This has left several patients scouting for treatment options, with many of these patients ending up at state-run hospitals.
A patient’s kin, Razia Bi, told ToI, “We have Aarogyasri card but hospital authorities said that they did not have any beds and asked us to either wait for two days or go to a government hospital. We waited for half a day and then a ward boy said that we were wasting time. Since my daughter’s condition was worsening, we brought her here on Monday.” Razia had rushed to the city to get her 20-year-old daughter treated for high fever, who was redirected to Osmania General Hospital by a mid-sized hospital.
An administrator of a corporate hospital, admitted, “Under such circumstances, hospitals are willing to take in patients who have an insurance cover as the bills will be cleared easily. Patients who do not have insurance, even poor patients having Aarogyasri cards, are not preferred.”
Dr Geeta Nagasri, surgical oncologist, shared, “There are no beds in hospitals to even admit other patients or those who require surgeries. To top that, with so many dengue patients around, there is a concern that if surgery patients contract post-operative dengue, it will be very difficult to save them and ultimately it will all be blamed on the surgery.”
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