These hospitals in Palwal are accused of charging Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 daily for the treatment of coronavirus patients, despite the state government capping charges for the same. This week only, authorities in Faridabad cancelled the licence of a private hospital while the Rewari administration issued notices to two hospitals for overcharging Covid patients.
In his plea to the court, Ravi Rawat, the lawyer, alleged that he was forced to pay Rs 40,000 a day for his mother’s Covid-19 treatment.
In fact, Rawat’s mother Urmila Devi contracted Covid on May 1. As her oxygen level dropped to 82-83, Rawat rushed her to Guru Nanank Hospital, but the authorities there didn’t start any treatment for an hour. After repeated requests, the hospital staff said they would charge Rs 60,000 a day and would not accept any medical insurance, according to his plea.
“After I agreed to all these terms and conditions, I was directed to the admission counter. At the counter, the attendant asked to make an advance payment of Rs 30,000 and an additional Rs 10,000 for medicine. It was made clear to me that the hospital will use its own medicine. Left with no choice, I paid Rs 40,000,” said Rawat. After the payment was made, the lawyer’s mother was admitted but but no doctor came for a checkup. “I went to the out-patient department, and requested two doctors to attend to my mother. They demanded an additional payment of Rs 30,000 for starting treatment. I agreed too,” he said.
However, as her mother’s condition worsened, Rawat shifted her mother to another hospital. “Sachin Hospital had initially agreed, but later declined to admit the patient, being the mother of a lawyer. We subsequently approached Apex Hospital and Galaxy Hospital, they too had initially agreed to take the patient for Rs 75,000 a day but later declined to admit her for similar reasons,” he claimed.
Finally, through a friend, Rawat managed to find a bed for his mother at Eden Hospital in Chandigarh. “But the staff at Guru Nanank Hospital charged us Rs 1.10 lakh for the ambulance. My mother has now recovered,” he said.
On May 9, Rawat filed a complaint at the Camp police station in Palwal against the hospitals. He subsequently filed another complaint with Palwal SP before finally approaching the local court for getting an FIR registered against the private hospitals.
On May 26, judicial magistrate Ist Class Jyoti Mehra directed the Palwal police to register an FIR against the four private hospitals under sections 384, 269, 188 and 120B of IPC and under the Disaster Management Act. The FIR was registered on May 27.
SHO of Camp police station, Radheshyam said an FIR was registered on May 20 in this matter. “Now, we have registered another FIR against the four hospitals in the same matter. So, we will cancel the first FIR. Action will be taken against the accused named in the FIR.”