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?Hospitals shouldn?t overcharge patients?

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 23:43 IST

HOSPITALS should be graded to ensure uniformity in charges or some other kind of regulation needs to be in place so that they do not overcharge the patients who have medical insurance, says M Ramadoss.

The Oriental Insurance Co Ltd CMD was speaking to reporters in the City on Friday.
Ramadoss, who is in the City to attend the inaugural function of Company’s seventh All India Table Tennis Tournament, also inaugurated the new premises of the company’s Indore regional office at IDA building.

Ramadoss said that it has now become a general trend that patients with medial insurance are asked to undergo unnecessary diagnostic tests just because insurance company is footing the bill. Oriental Insurance has introduced some supplementary clauses in its medial insurance policy to prevent this kind of misuse.

On the controversy over third party motor insurance, Ramadoss said that with a pool system in place, the insurance companies were no longer reluctant to underwrite third party insurance.

“The third party insurance for commercial vehicles was a loss making proposition, and so private companies were reluctant to underwrite it before December 31, 2006,” he said. “Now, all the third party motor insurance premium goes to a pool, and IRDA (insurance regulatory development authority) has also increased the premium with respect to third party insurance, so the reluctance is no more there.”

Oriental, he said, was quite strong financially and did not feel threatened by the entry of new players in the general insurance sector.

The company is expanding its reach by employing more agents — it plans to have 50,000 agents in another year’s time — and is also spending a huge amount on IT infrastructure. It is in the process of installing new software to enable all offices to be interconnected through a central data system on the lines of core banking system. The company is also focusing on training its personnel.

Oriental Insurance has tied up with post offices across the country to provide personal accident cover of Rs 1 lakh to the savings account holders at an annual premium of Rs 15 only.

The Indore regional office of Oriental Insurance has set a target of Rs 190 crore premium income for the current financial year.