Couldn’t pay in full, Bengaluru hospital kept body for two days, say COVID-19 victim's kin

The patient’s brother has alleged that the body wasn’t given to the family for two days as they were unable to pay the full amount of Rs 8.96 lakh.

Published: 10th August 2020 01:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2020 10:58 AM   |  A+A-

Citizens raise awareness on free COVID testing by BBMP at Chikpete area in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal/EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU:  A 62-year-old male Covid-19 positive patient who was admitted at a private hospital passed away on August 7. The patient’s brother has alleged that the body wasn’t given to the family for two days as they were unable to pay the full amount of Rs 8.96 lakh.

Srinivas, resident of Vijaynagar and the patient’s elder brother, said his sibling showed signs of fever and breathlessness and was admitted at the Sagar Hospitals, Kumarswamy Layout, on July 19.

He had tested positive. “My brother had been working as a cashier at the Sagar Hospitals for more than 20 years. So we admitted him there.

However, on August 7, we got a call from the hospital that he had passed away. And when we asked them to release the body, they refused and asked us to first pay Rs 8.96 lakh. The insurance covered Rs 1.84 lakh and I paid Rs 1 lakh in cash and asked them to release the body. But they did not and kept the body with them for two days,” said Srinivas.

He added, “I then contacted the media who brought it to the notice of Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar. He spoke to the hospital and got the body released. We got the body around 5 pm on Sunday. My brother was the only breadwinner of the family. I’m visually challenged and it was he who took care of us.”

Dr Venkatesh Vikram, Managing Director of Sagar Hospitals, said, “The patient when admitted was on oxygen and he passed away on August 7 and we kept calling the family. However, none of the family members answered the calls. On August 9, we had to reach out to the BBMP, health officials and police and told them that nobody had come to pick the body and they contacted the family. We released the body. The family only paid Rs 1 lakh. We did not tell them to pay the amount first and then take the body.”

Minister Sudhakar tweeted, “It is reprehensible to torture a family by claiming to make payment first. Making money should not be the standard for private hospitals. Will talk to the hospital. Just will be served to the family.”


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