Udaipur, Rajasthan— An investigation is underway by the medical and health department after a private hospital in Udaipur was recently found to have held two tribal patients hostage over unpaid medical bills amounting to 3 lakh 85 thousand rupees. The patients hailed from Pratapgarh district who were referred to Udaipur in November 2022 , however, the ambulance driver who bought them to Udaipur, got them admitted to Shri Vedanta super speciality hospital instead of the government one. The hospital raised a bill of 8.85 lakh rupees and the families had to sell their assets to meet the expenses. They paid 5 lakh rupees, with much difficulty, however the hospital didn't discharge the patients, detained them for over two months demanding the balance amount.
The Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr. Shankar Bamnia had constituted an inquiry committee to probe the derails. RCHO Dr. Ashok Aditya is leading the committee which on Thursday visited the hospital and even spoke to some patients. The enquiry team also found a government nursing officer Surgyan Meena's involvement in the episode. The private hospital reportedly belongs to his relatives. Sources have indicated that ambulance drivers are lured in by offering good commissions for bringing patients from rural areas to the private hospital without proper referral slips. Previous cases have shown that patients from Chittorgarh, Neemuch, and Nimbahera were admitted here without any referral slips from their respective district hospitals. During their investigation, the inquiry team discovered several discrepancies at the hospital. Although the hospital claimed to have a capacity of 100 beds, the team found only 28 beds, of which 14 were for the ICU, and 14 were for general wards. Furthermore, the hospital had only two specialist doctors and 18 nursing staff, which does not meet the government norms.
The inquiry committee has also asked for the patient entry data from the hospital to gather more information. The hospital management failed to provide a satisfactory response to the questions raised by the committee members. Speaking to The Mooknayak, Dr. Ashok Aditya said that " we are focussing on the incident wherein the patients were held hostage for two months. We are also taking details of the HR structure, facilities as per the license norms mandatory for hospital operation. The inquiry may take some time and then only provide clarity on the matter and determine whether any actions need to be taken against those involved".
Ravindra Nath Tagore ( RNT) Medical College, Udaipur as part of the Chiranjeevi Yojana, has developed its own QR code to provide convenient access to patient information. By scanning the code, patients can immediately view relevant details such as package offerings, treatment costs, and facilities provided. Families covered under the Chiranjeevi scheme are entitled to receive free medical treatment upto Rupees 10 lakhs at all government medical facilities and selected private hospitals. The Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had increased the limit from 10 lakhs to 25 lakh rupees from the next renewal period of the insurance policies.
Dr. Lakhan Poswal, the Principal of RNT medical College said that the medical college is working to raise awareness about the scheme, with the aim of providing convenience to patients who become frustrated due to a lack of information about private hospitals. Sometimes the misinformed patients land at private hospitals who are not empaneled under the scheme and the charge hefty amount from patients which is available free of cost under the Chiranjeevi health insurance scheme to residents of Rajasthan. The introduction of the QR code will help these individuals identify appropriate hospitals and receive the necessary treatment. Through this initiative, the Chiranjeevi Yojana aims to reach and benefit more individuals.
Mahendra Singh Rathore, Assistant Professor at the Department of Community Medicine said that the QR code will indicate the available package options for both government and private hospitals. This feature will benefit patients who are unaware of the packages offered by private hospitals, as they will now be able to identify hospitals empaneled under the Chiranjeevi Yojana, where they can receive complete treatment free of cost. The Udaipur District Collector, Tarachand Meena has instructed the medical department to implement the QR code in private hospitals, as well as district hospitals, community health centers, and primary service centers, so that every individual can easily access information about available treatments and packages under the scheme.
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