The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has penalised two private hospitals Rs5 lakh each for turning away infected patients referred to them by the civic body and also charging the said patients. The two hospitals were designated COVID-19 treatment centres and 50% of their beds had been reserved for the same.
In a release issued on Tuesday, the civic body said it had fined Artham Hospital in Ambawadi and Bodyline Hospital in Paldi Rs5 lakh each under the Epidemic Diseases Act. The hospitals will lose their registration if they fail to deposit the sum within seven days, it said.
The AMC has entered into an MOU with 40-odd private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. The hospitals are required to reserve 50% of their beds for patients referred to them by the AMC. These patients are not to be charged for their treatment.
The hospitals can use the rest 50% of their capacity to admit private patients who if they are COVID-19 patients can only be charged a stipulated fee, a release from the department said.
Authorities found that Artham Hospital had refused to accommodate a patient referred by the civic body falsely claiming that all beds were occupied. It had also used AMC quota beds for private patients and were charging both the patient and the AMC for the same. Bodyline Hospital had charged fees from patients referred by the AMC and had also taken Rs 4,500 from another patient as testing fees.