FIR against Nanavati Hospital for overchargingUpdated: Jul 03, 2020 10:50 IST
A first information report (FIR), based on a complaint from the civic body, has been filed against Nanavati hospital, one of the major hospitals dedicated to Covid-19 treatment in the city, for allegedly overcharging a patient. The 62-year-old patient, who was in hospital for 47 days, was charged ₹17 lakh, according to the complaint.
The chairman, top management executives of hospital and other trustees have been booked by the police and summoned for recording their statements. Hindustan Times has a copy of the FIR, in which the names of the individuals have not been mentioned.
The hospital management, in a statement, said, “We have learnt from media reports that an FIR has been filed owing to some alleged discrepancy in a bill. We are awaiting the copy of the complaint to scrutinise the bill and will fully cooperate with the authorities concerned to redress the issue.” “We have registered an offence against chairman and trustees of Nanavati hospital for overcharging a Covid patient, after receiving a complaint from [Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation] BMC officials. Investigation is on,” said Abhishek Trimukhe, deputy commissioner of police, zone 9.
“We have received a complaint from BMC official on June 30 and on the basis of it, an FIR under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code has been registered against the executives of the Nanavati hospital,” said Suhas Raikar, assistant commissioner of police.
According to the complaint, the victim is a woman from Santacruz. Her son said she was kept in a quarantine facility for two-three days in Lokhandwala. She was in a serious condition when she was taken to the institutional quarantine facility and then on May 9, she was admitted to Nanavati hospital.
“She was in the hospital till June 24. She was kept in a non-ICU Covid ward for two days and later, was shifted to a Covid ICU ward. She was on a ventilator for at least 25 days,” the son said.
At the time of the admission, her son deposited ₹90,000. After some days , he was asked to pay an additional amount. After 10-12 days, the family was told that the bill was ₹9 lakh and after deducting ₹5 lakh insurance cover and the ₹90,000 deposit, the family was to pay ₹3 lakh.
The family approached Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nangaonkar, who spoke to the hospital’s management.
As the time of discharge, the family was told that the total bill was ₹17 lakh and that the family has to pay ₹11 lakh after deducting insurance cover and deposit
The family said that they were unable to pay the amount and the patient’s son said that no break-up of the bill was given. The son with the help of Sena leader approached BMC and civic officials began an inquiry.
During the inquiry, civic officials found that the hospital did not follow the government’s order with respect to billing and charged the patient exorbitantly, the police said.
Ramchandra Khobrekar, junior auditor of BMC’s K/W ward, then filed the police complaint on behalf of BMC. The patient was made witness in the complaint. Khobrekar was unable for comment.
In May, Maharashtra imposed a price cap on private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients after allegations that many of these healthcare facilities were charging exorbitant fees in a bid to compensate for a 90% dip in the admission of non-Covid-19 patients. Restrictions had also been imposed on the billing of medicines in private hospitals.
Private hospitals are allowed to charge up to ₹4,000 daily for the treatment of Covid-19 patients on a general bed, Rs7,000 for intensive care unit (ICU) and ₹9,000 for a ventilator, according to the new guidelines issued by the state health department.
All private hospitals come under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and are liable to follow the rules of the state government amid the pandemic.
The state government offers three kinds of facilities to treat Covid-19 patients.
Government-run hospitals are offering treatment for free, while 1,000 hospitals are covered under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, which provides insurance coverage of ₹1.5 lakh. Private hospitals have to provide treatment as per the concessional rate decided by the state government.