Demonetisation: Mulund hospital refuses to admit brain hemorrhage patient

Updated: Nov 15, 2016, 20:59 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty |

Despite rule, Fortis Mulund refused to admit a brain hemorrhage patient as he had the money in the now-abolished currency. His boss reportedly had to pay Rs 75,000 from his debit card

Mohammed Salman had to wait for over six hours before being admitted to Fortis Hospital, his colleagues allege
Mohammed Salman had to wait for over six hours before being admitted to Fortis Hospital, his colleagues allege

Ten days ago, 25-year-old Mohammed Salman suddenly developed a high fever that ultimately led to brain hemorrhage. But it is a testament to our times that it was not the worst thing to happen to him; instead it was the overnight demonetisation that led to Fortis Mulund on Sunday evening refusing to admit him urgently as they had the money in the now-abolished currency. It was only after his boss paid Rs 75,000 on his debit card that he was finally taken in for vital treatment and is now in the ICU.

Trauma multiplied
Previously, Salman, a mobile application developer at Hoodly, a grocery application, was admitted to Kalsekar Private Hospital at Mumbra, but when his condition worsened, doctors recommended he be transferred to better facilities.

Also Read: Anti-black money drive: After demonetisation, properties without KYC compliance to be seized

When they rushed to Fortis at 6 pm, he was taken to emergency where they did initial testing and analysis. Later, they asked his friends to pay the admission money, following which he was supposed to undergo CT scan.

Kamlesh Yadav, Salman’s colleague, said, “We collected Rs 1.5 lakh from the office staffers to admit him, but we were really surprised when they asked us to pay the amount in new currency. They didn’t even allow us to pay with a cheque, but insisted on a card payment.”

Another colleague Vishal recalled, “The hospital was adamant about not admitting him until the amount — Rs 75,000 — was finally paid by our boss via his debit card at around 2 am.”

When mid-day tried to contact Salman’s boss Eleroy D’Souza, he was on a flight to London.

Government rule
Bear in mind that as per the government announcement, no private hospital can refuse a patient over the old currency, especially if the patient is critical. “No private hospital can refuse any patient in emergency. Currency comes later; saving lives should be the priority. Secondly, if the patient’s relatives don’t have change or card to pay the amount, they can give the money in cheque. Even if the cheque bounces, the government will pay Rs 10,000 from their account under CM Relief Fund,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director of Health Service, Maharashtra.

“The hospital can’t accept old money as it is invalid now, but they can’t refuse any emergency patient for lack of new currency. Ask the relatives to complain to the health department, we will initiate an inquiry into it,” said Pawar.

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What the hospital says
Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund refuted the claim stating that they didn’t refuse to admit any patient especially if the patient in critical. “We don’t refuse any critical patient. We give them other options of payment. If they can’t pay in cash, they can pay by cheque and cards. And if the patient is very serious, we first recommend to admit them,” said Dr Narayani.

Two helplines set up to tackle payment woes
mid-day, in a previous report, had highlighted how patients admitted to private hospitals were not being discharged due to lack of new currency notes. Patients then demanded the setting up of a helpline to raise concerns, which were heeded to by CM Devendra Fadnavis as he announced two helpline numbers — 104 and 108. So far, the helpline number has received 22 complaints from across the state, of which 12 have been resolved with the health department’s intervention. “Twelve agreed to accept cheques so those have been resolved. Most of the complaints are bigger cities and popular hospitals,” said Pawar.

Rs 1.5 lakh
The amount Salman’s colleagues had collected in the old currency to pay towards his treatment

Rs 75k
Sum his boss had to pay from his personal debit card to get Salman admitted to the hospital

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