At a time when the financial condition of people is bad due to ongoing crisis in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday claimed that private hospitals are fleecing the patients.
President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that patients in private hospitals are charged hefty sums on tests, procedures and surgeries.
"The private clinical establishments charge exorbitant rates that are unaffordable to patients. They are availing unfair advantage of the haplessness of patients," he said.
"Because of long waiting times in government hospitals, patients are forced to go to private clinics and they are cashing in on this opportunity."
With no check, private hospitals are charging much higher than the rates fixed by the government, he claimed.
"For simple cesarean delivery, patient has to pay Rs 35,000 as against govt fixed rate of Rs 7000. For Cataract (eye) surgery, patients are charged Rs 30,000 as against fixed rate of Rs 9000," said Dr Hassan.
"While for cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) govt has fixed a rate of Rs 12000, but private centres charge Rs 35,000.
"MRI spine costs Rs 30,000 as against fixed rate of 7000.
"For CT scan abdomen charge is Rs 15,000 while govt rate is 3500.
"Cardiac procedures like angioplasty costs to the patient Rs 1, 20,000 and charge for Radiofrequency ablation is Rs 60,000. Even for simple blood tests, x-ray and ECG, patients are charged heavily."
"The consultation fee of doctors varies from Rs 300 to 1000 which is 7 times what is fixed."
Dr Hassan alleged that the private medical centres pay huge commissions to the doctors who refer patients to them.
"These centres are claiming free consultation to patients in view of ongoing unrest in the valley, but the reality on ground is otherwise as they even charge for breathing," he said.