The Congress in Telangana has demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao act to curtail the exorbitant Covid-19 test charges in the state and save citizens from being plundered by the unscrupulous private hospitals and diagnostics centres in the state. Congress senior leader and AICC spokesman Dasoju Sravan appealed to the Chief Minister to initiate strict action against the private hospitals which are looting public money by charging hefty fees for conducting RT-PCR tests at hospitals as well at home collection services. Dr Sravan criticized the government for issuing name sake GOs (Government Order) and ignoring their implementation, thereby providing an opportunity to the private hospitals and diagnostics laboratories to loot the public with their self crafted charges. “On the one hand, we are witnessing an upsurge of a second wave of Covid-19, but, on the other hand, the government of Telangana has completely failed in terms of conducting an adequate number of Covid-19 tests. There are not many test facilities available in Telangana. On top of it, even if anybody wants to go to the private diagnostics laboratory on their own choice to conduct the tests, it’s costing huge money for them,” Dr Sravan said.

The government of Telangana has come up with GO no. RT 539 where it clearly said that the samples which are collected at the laboratories should be priced at Rs 500 and the samples which are collected from home should be priced Rs 750 per test. “But even today, if you go to any diagnostics laboratory in Hyderabad or Telangana, one needs to shell out Rs 850 per test to be conducted at the hospital and Rs 1,200 per home collection test, which means that there is a scant respect for the GO issued by the government and nobody is giving any credentials to the government orders,” Dr Sravan said.

The AICC leader has also suggested the government not to limit its role to issuing GOs, but act thoroughly to save the common man from being looted by the private hospitals. “The government is issuing namesake GOs, not ensuring that these GOs are not implemented by the private hospitals. What kind of governance is this? We question the government that when you have given this GO why are you not ensuring that this is properly implemented? Why are the private hospitals and diagnostics centres looting the people? Common people are not able to go to any private hospital or diagnostics centre because it is a huge bomb to their pocket. I appeal to the government, your job is not over yet but, it begins now. You have to ensure that GOs are strictly implemented and the public is not looted by the private hospitals,” he demanded. In addition to Covid-19 tests, Dr Sravan demanded that KCR ensure free supply of Covid-19 vaccines to all in Telangana by converting all primary health centres.