COVID-19: NMMC tells private hospitals to refund Rs 32L to patients
Civic body to check all bills issued over the past couple of months and hospitals found to be involved in overcharging patients will face action
Days after the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) set up a helpdesk for patients to register complaints against inflated hospital bills, the civic body cracked its whip on a number of private hospitals, who have been asked to return an overcharged amount of Rs 32 lakh to patients. Also, NMMC has decided to check each and every bill generated over the past couple of months in the next seven days and if any hospital is found to have overcharged patients, offences will be registered against them.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has been consistently raising its voice against inflated bills during the pandemic. Navi Mumbai MNS Chief Gajanan Kale had also threatened to felicitate NMMC Commissioner Abhijeet Bangar as 'Saviour of Private Hospitals' on September 12 if no action was taken in the matter.
In a circular issued on Friday, NMMC said that private hospitals had been directed to return R32 lakh to patients who were overcharged. The civic body further said that social audit teams would check the bills issued by private hospitals during the pandemic and overcharged amounts would be returned. And any hospital found to be involved in wrongdoings, would be booked under Epidemic Act and Disaster Management Act, it also mentioned.
"This is a big victory for Navi Mumbai residents. We have no doubt that the civic body and its officials are fighting day and night to deal with the pandemic, but the issue of inflated hospital bills was ignored," said Kale.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an NMMC official said, "We are asking citizens to come forward and report if they have been overcharged. No hospital has the right to issue inflated bills."
Hospitals that were told to refund
- Apollo Hospital, CBD-Belapur (two cases) – Rs 2.05 lakh and Rs 4.03 lakh
- Reliance Hospital, Kopar Khairane (1 case) – Rs 2.14 lakh
- Rajpal Hospital, Kopar Khairane (1 case) – Rs 1.03 lakh
- Global Health Care, Vashi (1 case) – Rs 1.15 lakh
- PKC Hospital, Vashi (seven cases) – Rs 4.07 lakh
- MPCT Hospital, Sanpada (1 case) Rs 1.06 lakh
- MGM Hospital, CBD Belapur (two cases) – Rs 1.01 lakh
- Fortis Hospital, Vashi (two cases) – Rs 3.28 lakh
- Dr. DY Patil Hospital, Nerul (four cases) – Rs 4.81 lakh
- Sunshine Hospital (1 case) – Rs 2.06 lakh
- Terna Hospital, Nerul (1 case) – Rs 75,000
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