The BMC on Friday suspended the license of a designated
The hospital has denied all allegations of any irregularities or over charging.
Relatives claim that a doctor from the hospital had asked the patient, Prashant Kale, to get admitted on July 24 citing
Kale used to run a school uniform manufacturing business.
Dhanu said that doctors at the hospital asked him to get Tocilizumab injections urgently. “They took a swab sample for a Covid-19 test on July 25. But since the report didn’t come, they gave me someone else’s prescription and asked me to get vials from their branch in Mira Road. I spent Rs 40,000 for the vial. Prashant died later that night. They issued a bill of Rs 2.25 lakh initially, but later revised to Rs 36,000.”
Kale’s relatives want a stricter penalty for the hospital. “This is nothing but criminal negligence on the part of Family Care Hospital. They must be booked and a criminal case must be filed against them. Just suspending the license of the hospital for one month is not enough,” Dhanu said.
BMC officials said that the hospital had 25 beds. “We had received many complaints about the hospital overcharging patients,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, G-North Ward. “We had issued them a show-cause notice in the past and they had admitted that they had overcharged the patients. Despite this, they did not stop overcharging. We have issued orders to suspend their license for 30 days under the Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1949,”
The civic body has ordered the hospital to stop all new admissions. “We have sealed the building and asked them to shift all the existing patients to another hospital or Covid care centres within 48 hours,” Dighavkar said.
Meanwhile, the hospital claimed that the order is based on misleading facts. “The order is based on a video which has gone viral on a social media site without validating the authenticity or correctness of the allegations levelled therein,” Family Care Hospital said in a statement.
“Further, even the hospital management was never granted an opportunity to present their version. The allegations are about a first showcause notice and a reminder for the same in the form of a second showcause notice for a patient whose bill was Rs14,000. A reply to the same was given. The patient was admitted for two billable days and was charged only about Rs14,000 for the same. We did not hear from the BMC after that incident and submit that we have not overcharged this patient. The current video was updated only with a view to malign the image of the hospital and cause harm to our organisation.”
The hospital said that its staff have been working tirelessly to provide coronavirus treatment to more than 400 Covid and suspected Covid patients at the facility.
“The deceased patient mentioned in the said video was referred to us on July 25, 2020, at 12.25 am by a neighboring hospital. He was in a critical condition with a history of inguinal abscess, fever, progressive breathlessness and generalised weakness for the last eight to ten days then,” the hospital said.
The hospital claimed that all treatment administered was in accordance with protocol. “The total bill raised by the hospital for the treatment was only Rs 36,000/- and not Rs 2,80,000/- as exaggerated by the relatives of the patient. It is unfair to blame the hospital for something like this, especially, when our hospital has been the pioneer among private hospitals in treating Covid-19 patients in collaboration with the government.”