From private hospitals to drug dealers, many violating government regulations are trying to make quick money at the expense of COVID-19 patients struggling for their lives, pushing their families into deep financial crisis in the process
A young parent, Ramesh (name changed), went to Twitter for help with the treatment of his wife, who recently gave birth to a baby in a private hospital in the city, while she was undergoing treatment for a severe COVID-19 infection underwent.
He was helpless because her health did not improve even though all of his savings were spent. “I prepaid an amount and approved my wife a few days ago. Since then, a lot of money has been spent on medicine, oxygen, and other expenses. Some injections cost £ 10,000 to £ 12,000 per vial, and a particular medicine costs over £ 43,000 per vial. Everyone I know, including my employers, has helped me in every way, ”says Ramesh The Hindu.
Many people, including actor Nikhil, Rep. Kesineni Srinivas and the Chief Minister’s Office, responded to my Twitter appeal and extended help, he says. “However, my wife’s condition is still critical. Fortunately, the baby tested negative for COVID-19 and is fine, but I haven’t seen him yet, ”he adds.
“Recently, all of my in-laws were infected and spent about £ 10 on treatment, much of it buying remdesivir on the black market. Now we’re getting it for the MRP. I have no idea how to pay the hospital bill and how much they are going to charge. We are entitled to Aarogyasri, but need help to be able to access it, ”says Ramesh, explaining his plight.
The ongoing second wave of COVID-19 has left several families in deep financial trouble, leaving some properties to sell or take out loans that will take years to repay. The new variants of the virus spread quickly and entire families become infected at the same time or in a short time.
However, the financial burden on those cured without oxygen support and hospitalization was minimal.
Life savings lost
Like Mr Ramesh, many have lost their lifesavers to hospitals and greedy suppliers of drugs and medical oxygen that are essential to the survival of COVID infected patients.
“I had to pay 2.5 pounds upfront before being admitted to a private hospital. My entire family became infected, but they recovered at home while I needed oxygen support and remdesivir. Even though I was insured with a cashless treatment facility, I had to pay the amount. The black marketing of Remdesivir was at its peak at the time and the amount I had spent on it was a third of the hospital bill, ”says Raj Kumar, a 30-year-old IT professional. This has been the case with many who have been admitted to private hospitals for treatment, he says.
In some cases, families went to crowdfunding portals to raise money to treat their loved ones when they were left with no other choice.
A person with mild symptoms in home isolation will have to spend around £ 5,000 or less, while treatment in a private hospital will cost £ 3 to £ 5, even for a patient who only needs oxygen assistance. All of this after successfully going through the most difficult stage of finding a bed in a private hospital.
In the case of the treatment and delivery of pregnant women, hospitals charge more than 5 pounds per package, or about 50,000 pounds per day for the intensive care unit.
Although government COVID-19 squads book cases against hospitals for patient overload, many continue to break rules and loot patients, complain about victims.