• 22 lacs refunded, but more than 2 crores outstanding in Covid bills. VHA demands strict action against defaulters – Maharashtratv24

    22 lacs refunded, but more than 2 crores outstanding in Covid bills. VHA demands strict action against defaulters

    As per the directives of Hon’ble High Court, a committee of NMC, IMA & VHA representatives had recently delved into the task of amicably resolving the issue of excessive bill complaints.  Of the 614 complaints received; NMC had already disregarded 386 while 25 had withdrawn their complaints. NMC had directed balance 136 hospitals to refund excess amount. Of which 69 hospitals refunded around Rs.22 lacs to the complainants. The Committee as directed by High Court was called only to look into balance 67 complaints.  

    The mediations failed in remaining complaints because the complaints were frivolous as many were third party and others were without any affidavit. The process of mediation was found infeasible because of abject lack of procedural propriety and diligence. Aggrieved  patients if still not convinced have been advised to take recourse to court of law following  the lawful procedures or else the result of failed process be placed before court as per order  dated 09.07.2021  

    During the mediations; it was noted by the committee that many of the hospitals had been pressurised to forego balance amount and many of them did not get whole payments as authorities had warned them not to seek full advance at time of admission.  

    Dr. Sanjay Deotale- Nagpur IMA President stated that it is painful to note that even when hospitals have been unconstitutionally asked to serve Covid patients in capped charges, their hands were further tied due to such warnings of not insisting on advance. At the time of discharge/death, when hospitals faced issues of non-payments and pressurisation from all corners in many cases to reduce the bill amount, no help was received from authorities.  

    Dr. Ashok Arbat- VHA President added that they contemplate amount of such non settlements of bills in totality will certainly cross Rs. 2 crores. The Committee had asked all  hospitals to compile and tabulate the list along with details such non-payments during 1st and 2nd waves. Of more than 140 Covid hospitals, when 6 hospitals have till date submitted  pending dues of around Rs.2 Crores, it means days to come will reveal further astonishingly  high figures, he added.  

    Dr. Sachin Gathe- Nagpur IMA Secretary and Dr. Alok Umre- VHA Secretary conveyed that  as the authorities had taken proactive stance although illegally of constituting a quasi judicial body to address complaints of excessive payments, they should similarly address  this issue of non-payments to hospitals. NMC should be impartial and render justice to both  parties.  Dr. Anup Marar- VHA Convener mentioned that a joint petition has been submitted by IMA  & VHA to NMC Municipal Commissioner demanding that these defaulters should also be individually threatened to settle the payments in totality under the same laws wherein hospitals were intimidated of legal enforcements. Such actions are essential as it will deter  people and so called social activists from taking hospitals for granted during forthcoming 3rd wave and will generate confidence amongst hospitals, he added.

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