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Telangana: Doctor alleges hospital kept her hostage over nonpayment of bill for coronavirus treatment, releases video

Telangana is one of the worst affected states for coronavirus outbreak.

A government doctor in Telangana who contracted coronavirus while treating patients was reportedly held hostage by the private hospital where she was undergoing treatment over nonpayment of bill.

In a video shared by journalist Oishani Mojumder, the woman can be heard crying and saying that she is not getting proper medication. In a letter to the police, the woman, Dr Asra Sultana, who is a Civil Assistant Surgeon at Sir Ronald Ross Institute for Tropical and Communicable Diseases at Nallakunta has alleged that a private hospital where she is undergoing treatment is demanding that she pays of Rs 1 lakh for one-day treatment. She has alleged that the hospital also refused to accept her pleas where she requested that the hospital accepts Rs 50,000 and clear the dues later.

As per reports, Dr Sultana attended coronavirus patients and possible patients till June 18. However, after she developed symptoms and she herself tested positive, she isolated herself at home. She suffers from diabetes and hypertension as well.

Dr Sultana’s letter. (Image courtesy: @Oishani_TNIE on Twitter)

In a letter addressed to the SHO, Dr Sultana wrote that the hospital did not give her proper medicines and alleged that the nurses were irresponsible. She said she paid Rs 40,000, but as she did not have the remaining amount the hospital detained her for several hours until her brother, who is also coronavirus-positive, came and paid the remaining amount. “Eventually we paid Rs 1.19 lakh for a day’s treatment at the hospital,” she writes in her complaint.

Dr Sultana got admitted to a private hospital in Chaderghat on July 2. She alleges that the hospital charged her Rs 1.15 lakh for one-day treatment. However, she requested the hospital to reconsider the bill amount as she is a frontline worker helping the fight against coronavirus. “But they did not agree. A day later, the bill was increased to ₹1.4 lakh,” she said.

She was finally allowed to leave after she paid Rs 1.3 lakh on July 3. In a statement released by the hospital, the hospital said that Dr Sultana was billed for the services and medicines given to her during her stay at the hospital.

Coronavirus in Telangana

Telangana is one of the worst affected states for coronavirus outbreak. A study by Professor Shamika Ravi has revealed that Telangana is a combination of exponential rise in daily new cases and very poor testing which is as low as 19 confirmed cases per 100 tests.

She has consistently, through her studies, maintained that Telangana needs to significantly increase its testing and have more efficient contact tracing. Her study has revealed that Telangana has one of the least amount of testing and fasted infection growth rate in the country.

As of June 26, Telangana was doing as low as 1802 tests per million citizens. Only state with lesser tests than Telangana is Bihar, which is not fairly as poorly in terms of coronavirus containment as Telangana is.

As of Monday, Telangana has 10,904 active cases with 12,703 recovery. Overall, Telangana is 6th worst affected state in the country in terms of coronavirus as of 6th July 2020.

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