Amid unending complaints of overcharging by hospitals, the Maharashtra government has made CCTV mandatory in all Covid-19 wards, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here on Thursday.
"The government has specified the cost of treatment in all such cases, and hospitals must adhere to it or face stringent action. If patients have grievances, they can come forward and complain to us. We shall be announcing a special helpline number for this also," Tope told mediapersons.
Besides, family members or relatives outside the hospital shall be able to communicate with the patients inside the wards, he said.
Referring to widespread fleecing of patients by ambulances, the minister said that the rates for this medical service will be declared by the municipal commissioners and district collectors.
"In case of overcharging by hospitals or the ambulances, patients can bring it to our notice and we shall take action," Tope assured.
He once again appealed to people not to suppress any of their symptoms and come forward for treatment in everybody's interest.
The minister's statements are considered significant as patients' have complained of exorbitant billing by many private hospitals, ambulance operators, emanate daily on social media from Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Besides overcharging, there are also complaints of inordinate delays by ambulance operators which resulted in at least one death of a patient sitting on the road awaiting an ambulance in Pune, which was highlighted by IANS on May 16.
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