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The Maharashtra Health Department on Tuesday slapped show-cause notices on four top private hospitals here for allegedly not providing 80 per cent of their beds for Covid-19 patients as per the rates determined by the state government, an official said.

Hinduja, Jaslok, Bombay and Lilavati hospitals, ranked among the most reputed and leading private healthcare providers in the city, were put on notice after Health Minister Rajesh Tope’s ‘surprise visit’ to these hospitals around 2 am on Tuesday to review the Covid-19 beds situation there.

The state authorities last month decided to reserve 80 per cent of all beds in private hospitals here for Covid-19 patients who would get treatment as per the rates fixed by the government, besides another 10 per cent beds exclusively for poor patients.

However, there were complaints that many hospitals were blatantly flouting the government norms in this regard, especially when the state and civic-run hospitals are reaching saturation point with zooming number of Covid-19 patients.

Tope also found that the hospitals were not displaying charts mentioning the number of beds available and in which category for the benefit of the growing number of coronavirus patients in the city.

“The minister took a strong view of these lapses and directed all private hospitals to put up boards daily to indicate the total number of beds, beds reserved for coronavirus patients, the exact number of vacant beds and government charges for the same,” said an official.

There have been many instances when certain private hospitals have more than 50 per cent beds lying vacant but needy patients are not admitted, making them run around to different hospitals.

Besides, there have been complaints that authorities of some hospitals allegedly arm-twist patients and allot them non-reserved beds on exorbitant charges, the official explained.

Tope warned that if the private hospitals fail to comply immediately, strict action would be initiated against them for violating the law.

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