Source: Times of India

Hospital wanted fees first, alleges family of COVID-19 patient who died outside

A Covid-19 hospital refused treatment, resulting in a patient's death. Source: Star of Mysore
(Representational image)

The family of a 60-year-old COVID-19 patient, who died outside a private hospital, alleges that authorities refused treatment till the payment of admission fees of Rs.3,00,000. However, the hospital authorities denied the allegations, saying instead that they only provided the family with an estimated payment of the treatment. The incident happened on August 10.

A day earlier, the West Bengal Clinical Establishment permitted hospitals to charge patients for admission of a maximum amount of Rs.50,000 or 20% of the estimated treatment cost, whichever was lower. However, even if the patient cannot pay immediately, the hospital should allow the patient to enter and start treating them.

Family alleges hospital refused treatment till fees payment

The woman was from Tamluk, East Midnapore district, Kolkata. Initially, she was actually at a nursing home. However, after she tested positive for COVID-19, and reported severe health problems, they took her to the hospital. After she passed away, her son, Nazeem Khan, filed a complaint at the Anandapur police station. He stated that the hospital refused treatment of the COVID-19 patient until the payment of the fees of three lakh rupees.

The woman also had an older son, Latif Khan, who lived in Abu Dhabi. Although he managed to transfer two lakhs into the hospital’s bank account, it was too late for the woman. She passed away in the ambulance itself while the hospital demanded proof of the money transfer.

The sons are grieving the loss of their mother – which would have been completely avoidable is the hospital had simply begun treatment sooner.

Hospital denies allegations

On the other hand, the hospital authorities denied such charges. In fact, a senior official stated that the woman was in a serious condition already. Although doctors tried CPR in the ambulance, they could not save her.

Presently, the police are investigating further. They also asked the hospital for any CCTV footage available.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case where a family alleged that a patient passed away outside a hospital due to negligence or payment. COVID-19 cases continue to rise in India, with the current total number being 2,360,358.

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