Private hospitals continue to fleece patients through hidden charges

Private hospitals continue to fleece patients through hidden charges

ISLAMABAD: A number of private hospitals operating in the twin cities are openly making money by fleecing patients through different hidden charges and unnecessary medical treatment in the name of “quality services”.
The minimum consultation fee or examination fee for different types of treatments in private hospitals ranges from Rs 800 to Rs 1,000, which is very high as compared to the nominal charges at public hospitals.
“Private hospitals charge too much in the name of providing quality treatment to the patients,” said Ali Raza, who visited a private hospital for treatment.
He also said that the untrained paramedics working at these private hospitals were experimenting on patients, posing serious risk to their lives.
According to a survey, the minimum room charges at private hospitals are around Rs 10,000, and that of VIP rooms are more than Rs 20,000. 
Similarly, patients in the intensive care units (ICUs) are also charged heavily.
Most of the government hospitals in Islamabad are overcrowded with patients, leaving no other option for citizens but to visit private hospital for treatment.
“It is a fact that private hospitals are earning hefty amounts through providing expensive medical facilities, and the quality of services also does not match the charges,” said an official of a hospital.
A majority of private hospitals are reportedly providing poor services to the patients. The paramedics at such hospitals are also not satisfied with the services, and they quit their jobs as soon as they find another job.
It has been observed that in the night shifts, young graduates of medicine treat patients in the emergency wards.
Muhammad Asim Raza, a patient, told APP that when he was charged heavily by one of the leading private hospitals for the treatment of asthma, he asked the administration to provide the details of his bills. The details of his bills revealed that he was charged even for very small and cheaper items like tissue papers, bandages and drinking water, he said.
On the other hand, the poor patients are reportedly compelled to wait outside the hospitals buildings in the lawns or on roads, whereas the privileged patients were accommodated immediately.
Moreover, several cases have been reported in which hospital administrations refused to discharge the poor patients since they could not meet the high charges demanded by the hospitals.
The patients and the officials have urged the government to take notice of the discrimination and serious violations of law and health standards at such hospitals. 

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