ISLAMABAD – Several Private hospitals in twin cities of Islamabad Rawalpindi are fearlessly making bucks by fleecing patients through different hidden charges and unnecessary medical treatments in the name of providing quality treatment.

The minimum consultation fees or examination fees in private hospitals range from Rs 600 to Rs 1000, compared to very nominal charges in government hospitals. “Private hospitals charge too much in the name of providing quality treatment”, Ali Raza a private hospital visitor told the agency.

An estimate reveals that minimum room charges of private hospitals are around Rs 10,000 and that of VIP rooms are more than Rs 15,000. Similarly, patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are heavily charged too.

The dialysis and other tests are becoming simply unaffordable for middle class and even upper-middle class. Mostly, the governmental hospitals in Islamabad are overlapped with the patients, so people resort to private hospital for better treatment.

“But these hospitals are availing unfair advantage of the helplessness of patients. The patients have no other option than to resort to private hospitals for treatment since government hospitals are already overlapped”, said an official of a hospital. Poor quality of services being provided to the patients. As soon as the members of their paramedical staffs find another job they quit their jobs at these hospitals.

It is observed that at night hours young graduates of medicine are appointed in the Emergency to treat patients.

The fresh medical graduates undergoing house jobs and even under graduate medical students are usually seen in the Emergency, assuming the responsibility of patient’s treatment.

This is an alarming situation and demands immediate action to be taken by the Health Ministry against the hospitals. Any manhandling of the patients by these inexperienced medical students can results in loss of precious lives.

Ground realities reveal that there is no such concept as free treatment of patients under charity foundations also. Some patients being treated under one such foundation told that they are being charged by the hospital.

“At one hand they are promoting their so-called charity foundation by massive advertisement, on the other hand they even charge for breathing”, stated a patient.

Muhammad Amir Ali a patient told APP that when he was charged heavily by a private hospital 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, saniplast bandages and drinking water.

The under privileged patients are made to wait outside the hospitals buildings in the lawns or even at roads.

Whereas, the privileged patients enjoy exclusive rights at the cost of unaffordable expenditure. Moreover, several cases have been reported pertaining to the incidents that the hospitals refused to discharge the poor patients since they could not meet the high charges demanded by the hospitals.

The patients and the officials stressed upon the Ministry of Health and the government to take stern notice of the discrimination and serious violations of law and health standards being made in those hospitals.

“They should not be let free to fleece the patients the way they want to”, suggested a patient who is paying heavy fees for his treatment.