KOCHI: A video on social media showing the harrowing experience of a youth at Charakas Anwar Memorial Hospital, Aluva, after being admitted there for Covid treatment has exposed private hospitals fleecing Covid patients and their kin. A day after the incident, the ordeal of a 54-year-old man, who was admitted to the same hospital for Covid treatment, has also come to light. While the hospital authorities slapped a whopping Rs 1.6-lakh bill on the first patient, the autorickshaw driver was charged Rs 25,000 for a single day’s treatment.
The hospital authorities did not inform the autorikshaw driver or his relative about the treatment expenses earlier and provide adequate treatment and medical care to the person who was admitted to the hospital on May 5. When they requested for discharge the next day, the hospital demanded them to pay Rs 25,880. An FIR lodged by the Aluva East police on charges of cheating cited that the Anwar Hospital authorities have not displayed the prices and charges of the equipment and charged Rs 12,880 for a PPE kit costing Rs 550 in the market. The complaint was lodged by Naseer Muhammed, a resident of Edathala and brother-in-law of the patient, on Sunday.
The patient, Ibrahim, was admitted to Anwar Hospital on Wednesday after he developed severe fever while in quarantine at his house. Ibrahim is the sole breadwinner of the family comprising three daughters and his wife.“We admitted him in Anwar Hospital fearing that he would develop pneumonia, but at the time of admission, the hospital authorities demanded us to pay Rs 50,000 as security. We paid Rs 25,000 as we had only that much money at the time. When a bed was allotted in a treatment centre at Muttom under Choornikkara panchayat, we requested the hospital to discharge him the next morning. They were not ready but, following our pressure, they gave a bill of Rs 28,880,” said Naseer Muhammed.
The hospital doesn’t have required facilities and there was only one nurse to look after all patients admitted in the Covid ward, he added. TNIE on Sunday reported the experience of 28-year-old Anson Antony who was slapped with a bill of Rs 1,67,381 for 10 days’ treatment at the same hospital. Police invoked Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of IPC. Aluva East police said only one case has been registered against the hospital so far.