Covid treatment: More trouble for Mayo Hospital as 100 cases of fleecing surface
Trouble mounted for Mohali’s Mayo Hospital (now Mount Star Hospital), which was recently found guilty of black marketing 83 remdesivir injections, as the district administration detected around 100 instances of overcharging of Covid patients at the hospital.
Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan said it had come to fore that the hospital has been charging around ₹20,000 a day from Covid patients.
As per the rates set by the government, a private hospital can charge ₹16,500 a day from a patient requiring ventilator support while for a bed without ventilator, the charges are capped at ₹14,500 a day. This includes all expenses including room rent, visiting charges and PPE requirements.
“Mayo Hospital was found to be offering a package of ₹40,000 for the entire span of hospitalisation but was adding ₹6,000 a day as visiting charges, which is completely illegal,” said the DC.
The administration also found that the management of the hospital was paying 10% to the doctors of other hospitals for referring patients here and in the last two months, the management has paid ₹17 lakh as referral money. Dayalan said, “Strict action will be taken against the hospital.”
One of the directors of the hospital admitted that the patients were charged more than the limit set by the government but added that the management has decided to refund the money.
Hospital’s managing director KD Singla said, “I am not aware of overcharging but have I have already submitted my resignation to the board of directors due to ongoing controversy in the hospital.”
On Monday, a four-member inquiry committee headed by sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Jagdeep Sehgal had recommended penal and legal action hospital after discrepancies were found in the bills issued for purchase of remdesivir, a drug used in Covid treatment. In the report submitted to Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan, the committee stated that the bills for the injection were issued in the name of a prominent cement manufacturing firm, besides the chief finance officer (CFO) Mukesh Sharma and a few doctors of the hospital. One bill was also issued in the name of a woman on March 17 even as she was admitted on March 18. While doctors reportedly denied getting any injections, the reply to the show-cause notice issued to the hospital was also unsatisfactory, the committee stated in its report.
When the controversy erupted, three directors of the hospital — Deepak Tyagi, Virender Dhankhad, and Dr Manoj Sharma — had accused the CFO and his son of illegally procuring remdesivir injections and selling them at a premium to patients outside the hospital. The CFO, on the other hand, has alleged that the directors had fabricated documents pertaining to the drug sale to frame him. Both allegations are being probed by the police.