Pune: To protest against the fee hike at Sassoon General Hospital (SGH), various social groups protested on Monday and Tuesday in front of the hospital and registered complaints of the patients with the authorities.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Lata Shep from People's Health Forum said that the patients visiting the hospital cannot even afford a treatment worth Rs 200 to Rs 300.
"We know that SGH caters to the economically challenged families. For them, every single penny matters. However, the State General Resolution (GR) issued last year has increased the price of treatment for various diagnostics and other facilities at the hospital, which can prevent many people from visiting the hospital for care," said Shep.
Echoing similar sentiments, activist Kiran Moghe of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) said that many women patients have noted that they had to pay for sonography during their pregnancy.
"Many patients have told us that they had to pay for sonography. It is extremely difficult for these patients to afford simple treatments. They already spend a lot of money travelling to the hospital. In this case, charging for sonography is not fair. Under the government rules, sonography has to be free of cost," said Moghe.
She further mentioned that the hospital administration has been positive regarding their approach. "The dean has assured us that proper steps will be implemented to ensure that pregnant women do not have to pay for sonography, as the facilities are free of cost for them," said Moghe.
She also informed that the patients have complained that Rs 400 is charged for the serum used for rabies. "This serum is used after a dog bite and should be made free, as the common man cannot afford it. Though the rabies injection is free, the serum, which is put on the wound is not. The patient has to incur this cost, which is unfair," said Moghe.