Chhattisgarh health department has taken action against five private hospitals for allegedly overcharging patients during treatment under a government scheme, officials said. Out of the five hospitals, fines in the range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh have been imposed on four medical facilities and three of them have also been de-empanelled from the scheme.

The action against these healthcare facilities – four located in capital Raipur and one in Bilaspur district – was taken on Tuesday after irregularities were found during an audit of the hospitals empanelled under ‘Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna Dr Khoobchand Baghel Health Sahayata Yojna’, the officials said.

The recent audit unearthed irregularities and it was found that extra money was charged from patients in Ramakrishna CARE Hospital, Anjali Nursing Home, Maher Hospital and Shah Nursing Home located in Raipur and Shri Balaji Hospital in Bilaspur, following which the state health services director ordered action against these facilities, a statement issued by public relations department said.

A penalty of Rs 6.16 lakh has been imposed on Ramkrishna CARE Hospital in Raipur while the same amount has to be reimbursed to the patients from whom extra money was charged for treatment, it said.

Besides, Anjali Nursing Home was fined Rs 3 lakh, Maher Hospital Rs 5 lakh and Shah Nursing Home Rs 3 lakh and all three were also de-empanelled from the scheme for one year, the statement said.

The empanelment of Shri Balaji Hospital in Bilaspur was suspended for a year, the statement said.

In case of any difficulty faced by patients during the treatment in hospitals registered under the scheme, the patients or their relatives can directly complain on the health department’s toll-free numbers 104 or 14555, it added. PTI TKP GK GK