Mumbai: Hospital lets biker die over Rs 9,000 shortfall in fee

Updated: Dec 26, 2014, 09:43 IST | Shirish Vaktania |

Karuna Hospital in Borivli refused to admit the biker, who was crushed under a school bus, unless a fee of Rs 20,000  was paid in full in advance for his treatment

Borivli’s Karuna hospital proved itself a misnomer. Showing no pity, it refused to admit an injured biker after he met with an accident on Wednesday evening, following which he succumbed to his injuries.

Karuna Hospital
No mercy: Cops and locals outside Karuna Hospital after the incident

Police said the hospital authorities demanded Rs 20,000 as fee for treatment, and even after they were offered Rs 11,000 by the people who had brought the biker, they refused to admit him, insisting that the fee ought to be paid in full.

The deceased, identified as Prakashchandra Rai (46), was crushed under the rear wheel of a school bus on Wednesday evening in Borivli (West), where he ran a motor training school. After the mishap, three locals rushed him to Karuna in an auto rickshaw, but they hadn’t anticipated that the urgency of the situation would be wasted on the doctors there.

One of the locals, Devendra Ambekar, said in his statement to the police, “The accident took place at 4.45 pm on Wednesday, and the three of us took the injured stranger to Karuna hospital in an auto rickshaw. Meanwhile, I informed the police on ‘100’ about the incident. But when we got to the hospital, the doctors refused to admit him, demanding a Rs 20,000 fee.”

He continued, “We didn’t know the biker, and we had informed his family members, who said they’d reach with the money in an hour. We explained the situation to the doctors and told them he would die if denied instant treatment. We also asked the police constable who had arrived to intervene and help save the man’s life.”

The cop, too, got the same cold response.  “Though the three of us managed to give Rs 11,000 to the hospital,” Ambekar said, “they told us that until they received the entire sum of Rs 20,000, they would not admit him.”

Forty minutes later, during which the hospital was haggling over the fees, Rai died.

“He died in front of me, but the doctors didn’t even touch him, because for them money is more important than someone’s life. After this incident, I have learnt a lesson: it is useless to try and help someone. I gave my statement to the MHB police for registering a complaint against the negligence of the doctor on duty.”

But the cops said they couldn’t book the hospital staff. Police Inspector Anil Ahwad of MHB police said, “We recorded Ambekar’s statement and have sent all the case papers to the legal department to get an opinion. We can’t register an FIR against the doctors or the hospital yet, but will take proper action after getting the legal counsel.”

DCP Balsingh Rajput (Zone XI) said, “We arrested the school bus driver, Yogesh Bhuvad (38), and he was released on bail.”

Authorities at Karuna Hospital refused to utter a word regarding the incident.

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