The West Bangal government is likely to take action against
certain private hospitals and nursing homes for fleecing swine flu patients.
The proposed move comes after health officials found that
some of these hospitals are putting H1N1 patients in the Intensive Care Unit
and charging them around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 per day.
Apart from the ICU cost, some hospitals are demanding Rs.
1.5 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh from swine flu patients for admitting them.
"Some hospitals are demanding huge sums from the patients.
Our assessment says that the maximum charge for treatment of a severe
respiratory-distressed patient in the ICU of a corporate hospital should be
around Rs. 14,000 per day, including the cost of medicines. But they are charging
around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 per day," a top health department official
Sources in the health department said a minister had
recently sent his relative, a swine flu suspect, to a private hospital on
Tuesday. The hospital demanded Rs. 1 lakh for admission.