Mumbai man gets Rs 16 lakhs bill for deceased father's coronavirus treatment
A resident of Mumbai's Santa Cruz lost his 74-year-old father on April 15 after being infected with the novel coronavirus and was subsequently charged by a private hospital with a medical bill of Rs. 16 lakhs for his 15-day ICU treatment. The son, who was shocked by the estimates that were given to him, had said that no middle-class person would be able to afford medical treatment worth Rs. 1 lakh everyday.
Manpreet Sohal, Director of Nanavati Hospital, Juhu, denied the allegations saying the elderly patient, who had been admitted on March 31 with multiple co-morbidities and multi-organ failure, was in a critical condition, and had passed away despite the best efforts of the medical staff. He added that the son's father had earlier also undergone a heart surgery and had developed acute respiratory failure upon admission after which he was in need of ventilator support. He said, "He also needed high-end Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy for kidney failure for seven days,".
The Maharashtra government's health department last week issued a notification to private hospitals for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ailments restricting the charges for treatment for all uninsured patients after numerous families forwarded their complaints. The deceased person's son said he was charged Rs. 8.6 lakhs for medicine and consumables, while another 2.8 lakhs as "COVID charges". As the elderly person was undergoing treatment at the hospital, his family members could not be there by his side as they were all under quarantine and could not leave their home. The son, meanwhile, has stated that no indication was given by the hospital regarding the expenses incurred, which has left him quite irate and perplexed.
The son stated that he had paid Rs. 60,000 at the time of his father's admission for the treatment with communication with the hospital being carried out over the phone and via email. He was then informed a day later about how his father had to put on dialysis and on a ventilator for which he gave his consent electronically. He stated that his father's blood test results showed his blood serum creatinine as normal a couple of days before being admitted, but the bill kept increasing thereafter with the passage of each day. He adds saying he paid Rs. 3.4 lakhs and had received a call two days later from the hospital accounts department that they would have to discontinue the treatment in case he did not make the payment.
The son also had to pay around Rs. 8,000 for the ambulance after the hospital had made arrangements for his father's body being taken to the crematorium. However, Nanavati’s Sohal addressed the bill that was calculated saying, "The average bill of any patient with such complications and criticality would be Rs 1 lakh-plus per day in any hospital providing tertiary-care services. The bill amount is in line with standard charges for the duration and quality of clinical services extended to the patient,".
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