MUMBAI: Cases has been filled in Court against seven private and charitable hospitals in the state by the Maharashtra government for reusing catheters meant for one-time use after sterilization as well as charging multiple patients for the same.
According to a recent report in TOI, cases have been filed against Fortis Hospital in Mulund, Hiranandani Health Care in Vashi, Platinum Hospital in Mulund, Wockhardt Heart Hospital in Nagpur, Sahyadri Hospital in Pune, Marathwada Medical and Research Institute, Kamalnayan Bajaj Hospital in Aurangabad and BSES Hospital in Andheri.
The issue of re-using catheters has for long been a bone of contention between the government and the hospitals. In July 2017 Medical Dialogues had reported that the reports given by the Maharashtra FDA point out that 8 private hospitals in Maharashtra have indulged in an unethical practice by reusing 1,306 catheters in more than 1,000 patients. These hospitals are reported to have charged them as much as 77% of the retail price.
The FDA was inquiring into charges whether the hospitals were reusing these although the label said they were meant for one-time use. The FDA officials said the devices, after a single use, were sent to the pharmacy for charging on the in-patient bill. Later, these devices were sent to the central sterile supply department where they were sterilized using ethylene oxide.
It has been reported that BSES, Platinum and Kamalnayan Bajaj hospital were not charging patients for reused devices but including it in the package and rest were reselling them. TOI reports that the court has issued summons to the accused in all seven cases minister of state (FDA) Madan Yerawar informed the state council
Charu Apte, chairman of Sahyadri group of Hospitals told TOI, “We reused catheters only for poor patients and didn’t charge them. There are hundreds of references that state that catheters can be reused till it works well.”
Putting numbers on the reuse of medical devices, TOI reports that Fortis, Mulund bought the balloon catheters for Rs 6,000 for which the first patient pays Rs 26,000 and when the product is reused the hospital charges Rs 20,000 to the second patient. Another brand of the catheter was bought by the hospital for Rs 7,500 and charged it Rs 22,000 to the first patient and Rs 11,000 to the second patient. Similarly, the hospital brought the Guide wire for Rs 2,500 and billed it Rs 6,750 for the first patient and Rs 3, 321 for the second patient.
Hiranandani-Fortis, Vashi has reused 44 drug notified devices on 27 patients and the brought balloon catheter for Rs 9,300 and charged the first patient Rs 22,000 and second patient for Rs 11,000. They also brought another brand for Rs 6,800 and charged the first patient Rs 21,000 and second patient Rs 10,500.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in July 2017 Maharashtra government had filed complaints against 37 hospitals across the state for reusing single-use medical devices and overcharging patients.