KOCHI: Amid growing allegations of private hospitals overcharging Coronavirus patients, Sunrise Hospital at Changaramkulam, Malappuram, a private facility, has decided to give free Covid treatment to all walk-in patients for a year.
It is the first private hospital in the state to take such a decision. The patients referred by the state government will be charged KASP rates and their treatment bill will be sent to the government.
The hospital has 100 beds for Covid patients, including ICU, ventilators, and dialysis units too. “We have decided to become 100% free Covid centre. There is no billing counter in the Covid facility at the hospital. Everything is free for the patients, including food,” said Dr Hafeez Rahman Padiyath, founder chairman, Sunrise Group of Hospitals.
Recently the high court had to intervene as allegations of overcharging by private hospitals grew. Sunrise Hospital was initially charging for Covid treatment until three days ago. “So many are not able to afford Covid treatment. The actual treatment is very expensive. We made enough money so decided to give it fully free for the next 1 year,” said Dr Hafeez.
At present, there are 60 Covid patients admitted to the hospital, of whom few have been referred by the government under the state insurance rates. “The decision has brought in a lot of happiness amongst all the people in the Covid hospital —both patients and staff. It is worth all the money spend,” he said.