Private hospital in Kattakkada refuses to hand over body until bill is paid
Kattakkada: A 16-day Covid treatment costs Rs 4.5 lakh and the body of a Covid patient was not given away by a private hospital as the bill was not paid. Based on a complaint, the district medical officer intervened and the bill amount was cut to Rs 1.5 lakh. Once this was paid to the hospital, the body was handed over to the relatives.
The incident happened in Kattakkada and the authorities of a private hospital refused to give away the body of M Shahjahan as the bill for treatment was not settled. The family of the deceased lodged a complaint with the DMO. Shahjahan with his wife and son sought treatment at the private hospital on April 22 and after two days, his wife and son recovered and was discharged. But the condition of Shahjahan became worse and he was put on ICU. He passed away on Friday morning.
The hospital authorities produced a bill of Rs 4,45,808 for his treatment and the family pleaded to reduce the bill amount. The authorities said that the body would be handed over only after remitting the amount. The hospital was not ready to reduce the bill amount too. After a social activist intervened, Shahjahan’s brother Nissar lodged a complaint with the DMO.
But the hospital authorities informed they have provided ventilator treatment and oxygen support and the bill amount was less when compared to the govt prescribed rate. The family was told about the hospital expense but no one cooperated. Even then, hospital sources said they continued to give treatment. The family did not inform about their unavailability to pay the bill and said they were cash starved and would pay whatever they have. Hence the body was shifted to the mortuary, authorities said.