While the hospital denied tying the patient for non-payment of bills, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, taking note of media reports, promised strict action against the “cruel” act.

  The administration of Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur district on Monday sealed a private hospital and lodged an FIR against its administration in connection with an incident where an elderly patient was allegedly tied to the hospital’s bed over non-payment of medical bills.

A controversy erupted after a photo of the old man, lying down with his hands and legs tied to the bed, went viral in social media on Saturday.

In the pictures, the elderely patient Lakshmi Narayan could be seen lying on a hospital bed with his arms and legs tied with rope. (Photo: ANI)

In the pictures, the elderely patient Lakshmi Narayan could be seen lying on a hospital bed with his arms and legs tied with rope. (Photo: ANI)

Pictures of an elderly patient have surfaced in which the 80-year-old was tied to a bed at a private hospital in Madhya Pradesh allegedly after his family was unable to pay the pending medical bills.

The incident which took place on June 6 at a hospital in Shajapur city, 38 km away from the patient’s hometown Rajgarh district, has prompted the state government to order a probe into the matter.

In the pictures, the elderely patient Lakshmi Narayan could be seen lying on a hospital bed with his arms and legs tied with rope.

When he came to City Hospital to get his treatment, he deposited Rs 6,000 when he was admitted and then Rs 5,000 later.

When Narayan recovered and was being discharged, the hospital asked him and his family to pay Rs 11,270 more, which they didn’t have. The family tried to arrange money to pay the pending bills but was not able to due to Covid-19 situation. Then the 80-year-old was tied to the hospital bed for not settling the final bill and his daughter was not allowed to take him home.

Shajapur collector Dinesh Jain has formed a team led by the SDM for the case and ordered a probe to ensure that such incident does not happen again.

While the hospital denied tying the patient for non-payment of bills, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, taking note of media reports, promised strict action against the “cruel” act.

Taking serious note of it, Chouhan in a tweet said, “We have taken into cognisance the matter of a senior citizen being treated in a cruel manner in a hospital. The accused persons will not be spared and strict action will be taken.”

Shajapur collector Dinesh Jain has ordered a probe which is being conducted by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) SL Solanki.

When contacted, Solanki said the probe report would be submitted to the collector by Sunday evening.

However, City Hospital director Dr Varun Bajaj said the 65-year-old patient, who is claimed to be around 80 years old in media reports, was discharged on Friday “without taking the due amount”.

“The patient was having intestinal problems and in order to administer the medicine, his legs were tied to the bed while his hands were held by his family during the process,” Bajaj claimed.

He said police were informed after those attending the patient expressed inability to pay the bill and insisted on taking him home.

The patient’s daughter, who was with him in hospital, could not be contacted for comments.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath termed the incident as “inhuman and barbaric”.

“During corona pandemic, private hospitals are looting patients and doing things the way they like. Strict action should be taken against the accused,” Nath tweeted.

“His (patient’s) daughter alleged the hospital had tied her father with ropes with the bed as they are unable to pay the bill. It is inhuman and barbaric,” he added.

However, the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) district secretary Dr Praveen Singh Gohil said if the Shajapur administration takes action in the matter on the basis of media reports, they will strongly protest against it. Gohil said an IMA member must be part of the probe team.

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