Crumbling health care system calls for bold initiative by KCR

Abiding the customary practice, private hospitals across the state capitalized the situation. The top dogs are ‘tranquillizing’ their pockets by charging 1.19 lakh a day treating the indisposed.

Sana Sikander

Hyderabad: According to the updated data of Unique Identification Aadhar India (UIAI), the population of Telangana is recorded to be 39 Million (3.9 Crores) as of 31st May 2020. This generous number depends on the ruling elite for its well-being and all forms of security.

But the whopping numbers of fatalities registering for the last one month is questioning the moving away of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao from his Office-cum-Residence in Begumpet to his farmhouse on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

A few days before his shifting some of staff had tested Covid positive at Pragathi Bhavan.

According to COVID tracker first fatality was recorded on 29th March 2020, three days after lockdown was imposed. 

Inter-state movement, shops, state-run RTC buses were exempted from lockdown since May 28 and a live graph shows a massive surge in deaths and positive cases since then.

Private labs over-ruled

Despite approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and order from Telangana High Court to allow private labs to conduct tests, the State Government appeared less bothered about the consequences of not doing so. The fact of the matter is that the private labs were giving away the number of correct positive cases as against the government facilities that have been accused of manipulating the results.

With 187 fatalities and over 5,000 positive cases till June 15, TS government eventually ‘came to senses’ and allowed 17 ICMR-approved private labs to start testing with a cap on cost of test at Rs 2, 200.

With this a family of four is compelled to pay Rs 8,800 at a time when an average household is hardly able to survive due to lack of income over laying down of staff and other reasons. The middle and lower middle classes, along with the poor, are going harrowing times.

Health Mafia

For over three months, till June, TS barely had 12 government hospitals to treat Covid affected and Hyderabad – the state capital – survived with not more than two centres.

Private hospitals eventually received nod from TS govt to treat Covid patients on June 15.

Abiding the customary practice, private hospitals across the state capitalized the situation. The top dogs are ‘tranquillizing’ their pockets by charging 1.19 lakh a day treating the indisposed.

Dr A. Sultana who had tested positive was allegedly locked up in a room by the management of Thumbay Hospital, Chaderghatt, for not being able to pay additional Rs 1.15 lakh. Sultana had already paid Rs 1.19 lakh towards treatment.

Another major hospital KIMS Begumpet on July 4 demanded Rs 5.22 lakh in addition to Rs 5.30 lakh deposited earlier, to release the body of victim who passed away during treatment. Victim, Mohammed Abbas Ali’s family had to seek political support to get back the ‘ransomed’ body.

Video of dogs eating half burnt bodies of coronavirus victims made its space in social media thereby threatening the voters’ trust on GHMC staff and ruling elite.

Such heart-wrenching  events are becoming the popular subject of upcoming history books of Telangana State.  

Testing rate

Telangana stands at the second last position while recording the testing rate in the country. The newest State in the country is performing at most 2,637 tests per million while Delhi it is 32,863 tests per million.

The state – conducting 475 tests per million by April-end – increased the process six-fold but this isn’t not helping in stalling the escalating fatality rate.

With inflated prices of testing and samples over flowing in government labs, clearing the air sounds an exhausting exercise.

Train coaches in Chennai and hotels in Delhi have been turned into isolation wards. Telangana too should also use several such facilities which are at its disposal.

The prevailing pandemic is an opportunity for the TRS government to show how much it cares for the public. So far it has turned out to be a massive failure.  It is ardently hoped that the Chief Minister would come out and take some bold decision to alley the fears and apprehensions in the public. 

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