HYDERABAD: Three prominent corporate hospitals in Hyderabad have been found guilty of overcharging and harassing patients. The government conducted detailed inquiries against the hospitals after receiving several complaints from the people.

While the state health department had received over 500 complaints against private hospitals in the last 10 days, authorities confirmed that at least 88 of them pertained to overcharging. The complaints were filed on the new WhatsApp number set up by the government allowing people to air their grievances against the private hospitals.

“We have completed the probe against the three hospitals, which were found guilty. We will be initiating stringent action against them. With serious deviations found in treatment as well as bills, we are bound to initiate serious action against them,” said Dr G Srinivasa Rao, director of public health.

Health dept seeks legal route
Insiders said ‘serious action’ being contemplated could mean stopping these hospitals from treating Covid-19 patients. “Permission to treat Covid-19 patients will be cancelled for the hospitals found guilty,” said a health department source.

Officials said for private and corporate hospitals, Covid-19 came as an opportunity to mint money, especially after they suffered losses during the lockdown period. “But these big corporate hospitals hire legal experts and have their documentation in place. We are also seeking legal opinion on how to tackle the issue,” a state health department official said.

Courtesy Times of India