Coronavirus treatment: FIR filed against Nanavati hospital. “We are awaiting the copy of the complaint to scrutinise the bil,” said the hospital
Coronavirus crisis: FIR against Nanavati hospital
An FIR has been filed for the first time against a private hospital for overcharging coronavirus patients. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has filed an FIR against Nanavati Hospital at Santacruz police station for overcharging for coronavirus treatment. Police officials have said that an inquiry into the matter is undergoing.
According to the FIR file, case has been registered under Sections 188 and 34 of IPC. Nobody has been named in the FIR but the case has been filed against office bearers and staff. The hospital allegedly overcharged for PPE kits, testing, medicines, and ICU bed. A bill of Rs 17 lakh was generated by the hospital, following which the patient decided to complain.
Nanavati said in the statement, “Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital (NSSH) has been at the forefront of the war on Covid 19 in Mumbai. The hospital was the first private hospital to offer dedicated Covid 19 services in the private sector and is currently managing 150 Covid beds including 42 ICU beds and has treated over 1100 Covid 19 patients so far. In this battle against COVID-19 we have unfortunately lost one healthcare worker and presently our CEO is infected and battling the disease. We have learnt from media reports that a 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.”
According to reports, the patient was billed Rs 17 lakh. The family approached Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nangaonkar who had a word with the hospital’s management. After reducing insurance and deposit, the family was asked to pay Rs 11 lakh. The son of the patient approached the civic authorities, who then initiated an inquiry. According to reports, the initial findings showed violation of government’s order. Junior auditor of BMC’s K/W ward Ramchandra Khobrekar then filed the police complaint on behalf of BMC and the patient was made a witness.
The FIR comes after Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had ordered action against private hospitals for overcharging patients.
Mumbai, one of the worst-affected cities in the country, is facing challenges in terms of logistics. As the number of beds continue to deplete, patients have taken to filing complaints for overcharging by private hospitals.
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.