COVID-19 | Hospital hid patient's condition, declared her dead suddenly: Family

Updated: May 22, 2020, 19:21 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Malad family says they will approach the CP and even fight a legal battle if needed

The family alleges that the hospital in-charge kept asking for money while they shared no details of the patient’s condition. Pic/ Hanif Patel
The family alleges that the hospital in-charge kept asking for money while they shared no details of the patient’s condition. Pic/ Hanif Patel

A private hospital in Nalasopara has landed in controversy as a Malad family alleged that the authorities kept them in the dark about the condition of a 57-year-old COVID-19 patient, and when they got suspicious about it, they declared her dead. The family has decided to approach the police commissioner while the hospital has rubbished the allegations.

According to the family, the patient was taking treatment for urinary tract infection from a local doctor when she developed COVID-19 symptoms. After they visited another doctor on April 30, he gave her medicines. "As her condition didn't improve, we visited another doctor on May 2. He suggested that she should undergo a chest X-Ray, blood test and COVID-19 test," said the deceased's 30-year-old son.

He further said, "After checking her reports on May 4 the doctor asked me to admit her to a hospital. We took her to Sanjivni Hospital in Malad East, but they refused to admit her because she was a COVID-19 suspect." The family members then took her to Apex Hospital but even they refused admission.

"Then we took her to Cooper Hospital. After we reached around 8 pm and finished the paperwork, the authorities asked us to come back the next day as the admission time was over. Then we admitted her to Riddhivinayak Hospital (Malad) and on May 6 her reports came positive for COVID-19. The hospital asked me to clear the bill and shift her to their COVID branch in Nalasopara. I immediately cleared a bill of Rs 82,000 and got her into an ambulance. While we were on our way to Nalasopara, a man named Sagar from the hospital asked for a Rs 50,000 deposit, which I paid," the son added.

The patient was admitted to the Nalasopara hospital around 1.13 am on May 7. Till May 8 the family managed to speak to her through video calls but then they couldn't connect with her.

Her son further said, "Neither could we contact her, nor were we given her reports. The hospital in-charge kept asking for money. The only thing they told us was that my mother was critically ill. Suddenly on May 15 they told us that an ECMO treatment was the last resort to save my mother and demanded more money."

The family said that on May 16 the hospital in-charge asked them to make an immediate payment of Rs 1.50 lakh. When they said that they couldn't move out because they were in quarantine and that they needed time, a hospital representative went to their residence and took the payment through their credit card.

"When I called the hospital administration and said that I would visit the next morning, they tried to pacify me. However, the next day they called us and said that she was dead. We were just told that she developed COVID-19 complications. They didn't even release the body till we paid Rs 1.94 lakh. I strongly believe that my mother died either on May 8 or 9 but they kept asking for money on the pretext of treatment. We will take up the matter with the CP and fight a legal battle if needed," added the son.

Meanwhile, Dr. Venkat Goyal from the hospital said, "The allegation that the family was overcharged, that too after the patient's death, is unfortunate. We don't practise such things. A body starts decomposing in a few hours and the family claiming that we kept it for days is unbelievable. The family is asking for details of the treatment but records can't be taken out from the Corona ward and it's not safe to take them there."

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