Max Hospital refused to release body until bill of over ₹22L cleared, allege kin

Family members of a patient who died at Max Hospital, Saket has alleged that the hospital refused to release the body on Saturday until the bill of over ₹22 lakh was cleared. Despite stating that the patient — Sohan Singh (53) — was the sole-earning member, family members had to sign an undertaking that the bill would be cleared at a later date.

Max hospital, said: “The COVID patient was admitted to Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket on April 23 and was shifted to the ICU on April 24 after his condition deteriorated. His parameters were unstable and despite best efforts by a multidisciplinary team of experts, the patient succumbed to his condition past midnight on May 15. The family was informed about his demise. Meanwhile, the hospital initiated the protocol for handing over the body of a COVID patient.”

“His nephew arrived at the hospital on Saturday morning and the body was released at the same afternoon post due formalities and undertaking for settling outstanding bill/dues. We firmly deny allegations that there was any delay in releasing the body. The hospital has so far not received any complaint from the family of the bereaved person,” the statement read.

The patient’s nephew, Dildar Singh, said: “He had been admitted on April 24 and late last night [Friday], we got a call from the hospital stating that he had died. The hospital then refused to release the body till the bill of over ₹22 lakh was cleared. After insurance and the little that we had been able to pay, around ₹13 lakh was still pending.”

“We told the hospital that we have given all that we could, and it is impossible for us to pay more. He was the sole earner in his family and how will we manage this huge sum? While the doctors are doing their best, the hospitals are looting from patients. At a point when a family member has expired and we are already vulnerable, how can we be in the mindset to be haggling over the bill? We had to sign an undertaking before the body was released but we will take a call later on whether we want to appeal or not,” said Mr. Singh.

AAP MLA Somanth Bharti, who also intervened in the matter before the body was released, said: “At a time when family members are already hassled, the hospitals are extracting money. By law, no hospital can say that the body will not be released till the money is paid. There is no lien on the dbody. What I would also urge the government to put an upper cap on the treatment bill that hospitals can charge.”

Taking to social media, Mr. Bharti wrote that Sohan had been a volunteer with him who had helped serve several COVID-affected families.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:49:30 PM |

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