Patients move to private hospitals for surgeries, allege over charging and no admission in government hospitals
By: Tariq Shah VOV
Recently a patient of Srinagar complaining of acute pain had to finally land in a private hospital known as Shifa hospital in Magarmal Bagh Srinagar. The family of the patient said that his pain subsided in an hour and they were forced to stay for ten hours only to charge them and also were forced to buy medicines from their pharmacy within the hospital.
In Shifa hospital of Magarmal Bagh according to the sign boards within the hospitals almost 57 doctors are doing private practice here and it includes all those doctors who are working in government run hospitals.
“They charged me Rs 100/h and also had to pay for the medicines in the evening. I did not get any response from the government hospitals when my sister was crying with pain. Every patient is being forced by the behavior of staff in the government run hospitals to go to the private hospitals for the treatment during this pandemic”, Bilal Ahmad Bhat of Alochi Bagh said.
While the management of private nursing homes and hospitals are saying that they are only charging what is due according to the norms set by the government, but the people who are being treated are alleging that these private hospitals are fleecing them.
Irony of the situation is that most of the patients could have been treated in the government run hospitals by the same doctors during the day hours but they force them to come to these private outlets for money.
Most of these doctors are in the government hospitals and come in the morning and evening hours for surgeries and for taking care of patients while OPD’s in most of the government run hospitals have been closed due to the present pandemic.
Most of the patients are coming from the poor families and they have to arrange the money for their surgeries in the private hospitals and it is very taxing for them. “I have come with my wife to the Khanams hospital and it will cost me Rs 25000 for the gall bladder surgery. I approached all the government hospitals but they refused to conduct this surgery forcing me to come here”, said an attendant outside this private hospital to this reporter.
Now there is another problem in the private hospitals that due to the heavy rush of patients for the surgeries, there is huge delay and they have to pay extra money to the officials in these hospitals to get the date earlier. “I had to pay a nurse in this private hospital to get the date for the surgery as they told me that they have the booking of 2 months”, Said Ghulam Nabi outside a private hospital in Srinagar.
The problem with the government run hospitals has been that they are catering to the needs of Covid patients and due to the pandemic they have closed down OPD’s and also their operation theatres as a precautionary measure. But the doctors in the government hospitals maintain that they are catering to the patients to the best of their capacities, also conducting the emergency surgeries. “Most of the people who come for surgeries want the dates of their choice and when they feel they have to wait they go to the private hospitals at their own will and we are not forcing them to go there” a senior doctor of SMHS hospital told this reporter.
Another senior doctor of government hospital said that people prefer to go to the private clinics and nursing homes as they have fears that they may get Covid infection in the government hospitals.
Whatever the fact, the government should come out with a rate list for the surgeries in the private hospitals and also for the OPD’s in these hospitals so that people are not forced to pay hefty amounts for the surgeries and also to the doctors even a simple check up.