Activist says Kurla hospital turned COVID-19 death to heart attack

Updated: Jun 06, 2020, 06:57 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Local social worker alleges that the hospital was worried about being locked down and losing other patients

Dr Asif Khan seen in the video recorded when the death certificate was made
Dr Asif Khan seen in the video recorded when the death certificate was made

A doctor from a Kurla hospital allegedly changed the cause of death in a patient's death certificate from COVID-19 to a heart attack in exchange for Rs 20,000 after the family said they wanted to conduct the funeral themselves.

The 45-year-old autorickshaw driver, a resident of Subedar Chawl in Jari Mari area, Kurla West fell ill a week ago. He was first admitted to Dr A C Tiwari hospital in D'Souza Nagar, Sakinaka where he tested positive for COVID-19.

After his condition worsened, the doctors there asked the family to take him to another hospital as he needed ventilator support. The man was admitted to New Noor Hospital at LBS Marg on May 30.

According to local social worker and a friend of the family, Mehdi Hassan, a Jari Mari resident, a second COVID-19 test on Monday too showed the man as positive. This was told to Dr Asif Khan, who as an in-charge at Noor also hospital manages the staff and other doctors. He agreed to treat the man for Rs 40,000 per day and a deposit of R70,000. However, the man succumbed to the infection on Thursday.

Dr Asif Khan seen in the video recorded when the death certificate was made
Dr Asif Khan (left) and a hospital employee seen in the video recorded by a friend of the family

"The man's family wanted to take the body themselves despite it being infected. Dr Khan, probably to avoid the closing of the hospital for a few days for sanitising, changed the cause of death from COVID-19-positive to a heart attack for `20,000. He also told the family to not mention this to anyone, stay at home, take care of cleanliness and eat good food," Hasan told mid-day.

Hasan, who was also present with the family, said that the incident was captured on video by a friend of his. "Dr. Khan wrote heart attack against cause of death in the death certificate. On his instructions, instead of being taken home from the hospital, the body was taken directly to a cemetery in Jari Mari where the last rites were performed."

After coming to know of the video and the matter being reported of in the media, Noor hospital's authorities are allegedly threatening the family.

"They have warned that the body could be exhumed if there is a police case. Since the family is very scared, I will file a complaint against the hospital for the threats," Hasan said.

When asked to comment on the issue, Dr. Sajid Khan, owner of New Noor Hospital, said, "I don't want to comment on this issue. I will speak to the authorities if any come to the hospital."

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