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Covid vaccination overcharging: Mumbai civic body gets 16 plaints against 12 pvt hospitals

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 16 complaints against private hospitals in the city over alleged overcharging for Covid-19 vaccination
By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JUL 21, 2021 10:40 PM IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 16 complaints against private hospitals in the city over alleged overcharging for Covid-19 vaccination. The BMC had last month appealed to citizens to file complaints against private hospitals charging more than the cap amount prescribed by the Central government.

The Central government has put a cap of 780 per dose for the Covishield vaccine, 1,410 for Covaxin and 1,145 for the Sputnik V vaccine. All private hospitals in the city were asked to follow the cap announced by the Central government.

The civic body had on June 11, appealed to the citizens to register a complaint with the health department of the BMC via email address complaint.epimumbai@gmail.com.

Following this appeal, the BMC has received 29 complaints, of which 20 are related to vaccine overcharging. Of these 20 complaints, 16 are against private hospitals in Mumbai and the remaining four are of outside Mumbai. The remaining nine have been categorised as other complaints.

According to BMC records, the 16 complaints of overcharging of Covid-19 vaccination are against 12 private hospitals in the city, while five are against two private hospitals in the western suburbs and the remaining are against private hospitals across the city.

In total there are 412 vaccination centres, of which 103 are private hospitals running the vaccination centres and the remaining are public centres, run by the civic body and the state government.

As of Tuesday, out of the total 6.5 million vaccine doses administered in the city, 2.7 million doses were administered in these private vaccination centres.

A private hospital against whom the complaint has been received by the BMC said, “We are not overcharging anyone for Covid-19 vaccination. As per the norms, we are supposed to display the amount on the Co-WIN portal. It is for everyone to see there and also, we cannot put any amount which is more than the cap prescribed by the government. We feel the complaint could be from before the cap came into effect, by around June 8, 2021.”

However, the BMC has maintained that they have received the complaints after the cap came into effect. Dr Mangala Gomare, chief of BMC’s public health department said, “We have got complaints after the cap for vaccination came into effect. We will have to verify whether the complainants are talking about the charges before the cap comes into effect. I have asked the health officers in each ward to investigate and submit a report regarding the same.”

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