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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Doctor locks up patient, who is unable to pay up ‘steep’ hospital bill

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times   Mumbai, October 11, 2012
First Published: 01:33 IST(11/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:34 IST(11/10/2012)

A patient who was unable to clear his bills was allegedly abused and locked up in a room by a doctor at Raksha Hospital in Malwani on Wednesday.

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Tracing the incident back to Friday, October 5, Malwani police said the patient Ali Hasan Mohammad Yusuf, 52, was rushed to the hospital after he collapsed following complaints of uneasiness. Yusuf, a scrap dealer, had approached his family doctor who he asked him to get a detailed check-up done at the Raksha Hospital.

Police said that Yusuf deposited Rs5,000 while getting admitted at the hospital. He told the staff that he could not afford to stay at the hospital for long, and requested an early discharge. However, police said the doctors assured Yusuf that the medical bill will not be exorbitant.

On Tuesday, hospital authorities presented Yusuf with a bull of Rs28,000, an amount that was much beyond his expectations. He expressed his inability to pay the amount, which reportedly led to a spat between him and Dr Pranav Kabra, who also runs the hospital. The aggrieved patient then rang up his family doctor and asked him to intervene. But even that did not help.

“Dr Kabra allegedly pushed Yusuf out of cabin and later locked him up for over two hours inside a room,” said Jaywant Hargude, assistant commissioner of police (Malwani). “Yusuf later approached the police and lodged a complaint against Dr Kabra for assaulting him and hurling abuses.”

Confined to a room in the hospital, Yusuf called a social worker and an acquaintance, who came to his rescue. Police said hospital authorities initially resisted attempts to rescue Yusuf.

Following the complaint, police arrested Kabra and produced him before a local court on Wednesday. Dr Kabra was released on bail.

Inquiry to determine action against doc
The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) could take action against the doctor who allegedly assaulted a patient, but only if a formal complaint is filed against the doctor.
“If the relatives file a formal complaint, we will conduct a detailed inquiry. It will also give a chance to the doctor to make a case for himself. Based on the findings of the inquiry, we may take action against the doctor,” said Dr Shivkumar Utture, executive committee member, MMC.
Doctors condemned the incident, but said that they can do very little if a patient chooses not to pay up. HTC


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