Varanasi: Medical stores under scanner for overcharging customers amid COVID-19 case surge

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Varanasi begins crackdown on medical stores for overcharging

The Varanasi police have started a crackdown on medical stores that are overcharging buyers for medicines and critical instruments like oximeters amid a shortage triggered by huge demand. Ambulance services that are overcharging are also falling in the police net. According to Varanasi Police Commissioner A. Satish Ganesh, the police received information about medicines and medical instruments being sold at higher prices.

Inspector Lanka, Mahesh Pandey, sent a local native to buy an oximeter at one medical store. The man was charged Rs 1,400 for an oximeter, much higher than the maximum retail price printed on the packing.

Ganesh said the receipt given by the shopkeeper mentioned only the amount with no details of the oximeter, brand name, maximum retail price and other details.

When the police team entered the shop and started seeking details of the oximeter, the shop owner failed to give a satisfactory reply following which a case was registered against him.

The chief medical officer (CMO) was also asked to initiate appropriate action against the shop owner.

Earlier on Friday, one Haider Ali alerted traffic police on its helpline number about being overcharged by an ambulance driver for ferrying his patient from Kabir Chaura to Bhojubir.

Taking prompt action, the traffic inspector contacted the ambulance driver and sought a reason for charging a huge amount from Ali.

Following the intervention of the police, the ambulance driver refunded the excess amount.

Meanwhile, the enforcement teams formed to check to hoard, blackmarking, overcharging by hospitals are also operating round the clock to stop such practices and help people get medical aid timely at a fair price.

(With IANS inputs)

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