Ruckus in PMC general body meeting over extravagant billing of COVID-19 patients by private hospitals

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Pune, August 19, 2020: Opposition parties- Congress Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) created a ruckus in the PMC general body meeting on the issue of extravagant bills being issued by private hospitals and medical store owners to the COVID-19 infected patients.

When the meeting was convened, MNS members Sainath Babar and Vasant More protested in front of the Mayor’s seat raising placards in their hands. There is proof against private hospitals and medical store owners who are forcing the patient’s relatives to buy medicines from stores at an extravagant price, they said.

Congress Corporator Arvind Shinde said that despite this issue being discussed in three consecutive meetings with the administration, no strict action has been taken against the complaints. Many COVID-19 medicines are being traded in the black market and the situation in the city is not under control. People are suffering, he said.

Opposition party leaders put the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators in a tough spot regarding the issue of non-acceptance of community spread of novel Coronavirus infection in Pune city and delayed construction of a jumbo COVID-19 facility.

Dheeraj Ghate, Leader of the House retorted by saying, “It is not the fault of the Municipal Corporation or us, it is the delay of the state government.” However, the opposition parties said that the state government shouldn’t be blamed for their incompetence.
The opposition party also demanded an explanation for the spending of Rs 300 crores in the last four months to handle the COVID-19 crisis in the city. Opposition party corporators stood in front of the Mayor’s seat to extract an explanation. Mayor Murlidhar Mohol however mediated between the different parties and said, “We should talk about the crisis at hand instead of making this a state government and Municipal Corporation debate. Let’s talk about the COVID-19 crisis and issues in the city.”

Later, the Mayor instructed the civic body to carry out the pre-audit of bills issued by private hospitals and drug stores. He also told the body to look into the cases of inflated billing and investigate further so that a befitting action could be taken.