A civil surgeon at Hyderabad's Fever Hospital who is also a COVID patient put out a video over social media recounting her harrowing experience at a private hospital in Hyderabad.
In the video, Dr Sultana alleged that the private hospital had 'detained' her for non-payment of bills. The doctor further mentioned in the video that her daughter, brother, and sister have all contracted the disease and that she was not getting proper medication at the concerned hospital.
After experiencing shortness of breath, the doctor was admitted to a private hospital in Hyderabad.
"They gave me insulin but didn't provide any food. I'm in trouble, please help me. I'm a COVID warrior," says Dr Sultana in the video that has gone viral in Telangana. There is also a letter addressed to the Chaderghat police station that is circulating along with the video.
In a letter dated July 4, Dr Sultana wrote that she tested positive for coronavirus 16 days ago. She was being treated at home since then, however, when she experienced shortness of breath, she got admitted to a private hospital. After a day's treatment, she says she was asked to pay an amount of Rs 1.15 lakh, of which the family could pay only Rs 40,000.
Despite the government cap on private hospitals for testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients in Telangana, hospitals continue to charge exorbitant amounts for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
The state government has fixed the package of COVID-treatment for a day at Rs 4,000 for routine ward and isolation. In case of ICU with ventilator and isolation, the package can go up to Rs 9,000. However, these packages exclude other expenses such as PPE kits and other interventional procedures, for which the hospitals can charge an additional amount.