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INDIAN (H)

Hospitals hike surgical costs to compensate losses

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 Barring the patients who undergo angioplasty surgery under government schemes, the other patients are not getting the desired benefit.

Barring the patients who undergo angioplasty surgery under government schemes, the other patients are not getting the desired benefit.

Vijayawada: The benefit of the capped price of stents has not been passed on to patients as hospitals have increased the cost of clinical procedures. Barring the patients who undergo angioplasty surgery under government schemes, the other patients are not getting the desired benefit.

A majority of cardiologists working in the government sector admit that the benefits due to the reduced price of stents has not been passed on to the patients. Dr Srikanth, head of the department of cardiology at Guntur Medical College, says reducing the cost of stents alone will not help patients as clinical procedure occupies a major share of the surgery cost. He said a difference of 10 to 15 per cent was noted in tier II and tier III cities where denizens are willing to opt for locally-made stents.

“The corporate hospitals have increased the procedure fees of angioplasty including room rent, bed fee, diagnostics, medication and other related things to fill the gap in their margins after the Union government reduced the price of stents across the country. Many stent manufacturers have withdrawn their products from the market and there are talks that the government may need to revise the price of these stents,” said Ambati Naga Radha Krishna, president of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee Doctors Wing.

Lack of proper cath labs and advanced facilities in government hospitals across the state are benefiting private hospitals, he added. Both the state and Union governments are ignoring government hospitals for the sake of promoting private practitioners, alleged Dr Radha Krishna, adding that the government should first focus on arranging at least one cath lab in every district than constructing airports in the small towns.

Performing angioplasty surgeries in government hospitals will help people, particularly from the poorer sections of the society, get quality healthcare at an affordable price and governments should focus on that direction, said CPM capital region organizing secretary Ch Babu Rao. The government should focus on building proper hospitals than sky towers to benefit the poor, he added.



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