CHENNAI: SP Charan, son of late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, said there was no truth in the rumours of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu intervening to clear SPB’s hospital bills.
In a press meet on Monday, held jointly with doctors at MGM Healthcare who treated the singer, Charan said that after his father’s death, he had asked the hospital about the balance that needed to be settled but hospital authorities refused to accept any pending payment.
“We had been settling the bill amount in weekly installments and one portion was covered by the insurance,” Charan said.
“After my father’s death, we had asked about pending payments and had gone with the money but the hospital staff said the management had asked them to refuse the money from us,” he added.
Charan said he had contacted Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan to clarify if the state government had offered to help financially.
“I was told that the Tamil Nadu government had offered to help in whatever way needed. I was not sure if this included financially too. So, a week ago, I spoke to the Health Secretary to clarify if any such statement was made. He was not sure and told me that he would clarify and get back to me,” Charan said.
Hospital authorities said that the state government had been in touch with them, enquiring about the singer’s health condition.
Regarding his father’s health, Charan said that Covid itself was not the main problem. "Coronavirus came and went but the healing and recovery of the lungs was the issue… that is what resulted in medical complications," Charan said.
The medical team added that consent for a ‘temporary’ tracheostomy was received from Charan.
Explaining the medical complications that led to SPB’s death, one of the doctors on the treatment team said there were two problems that could arise at any time for a patient on ECMO and ventilation for a long spell. "ECMO, tracheostomy involve tubes entering the body, the ‘unnatural’ interventions and so there is an infection risk," the doctor said.
According to the doctor, SPB showed signs of severe infection 48 hours before his death. "In nine out of 10 such cases, this can be treated with antibiotics. But one in 10 cases we have a superbug that won’t respond to antibiotics. He developed one such infection," he said.
The second known complication is bleeding. "About 24 hours before his death, we did a CT scan and found a bleeding in his brain. This occurred alongside the infection, which was affecting organ function. Despite all support, the infection worsened eventually resulting in cardiac arrest," he said.
Doctors Sabanayagam V, Suresh Rao, Deepak Subramaniam, Nandakishore, Anuradha Baskaran and hospital CEO Harish Manian were present at the press conference.
Charan said that the decision to move SPB’s mortal remains from his Nungambakkam residence to their farmhouse in Thamaraipakkam was made on the request of police officials. With some in the crowd even scaling the neighbouring house’s walls to get a last glimpse of the singer, there were heavy damages to property, he said.
Charan said he is in talks with local panchayat officials and others concerned for a memorial where the singer has been laid to rest.
He also asked that the family be given time and space to deal with and recover from their loss in private.