Bengaluru hospital withholds patient's body, detains his brother over pending bill

Police have opened a case against the hospital
Last Updated 28 May 2021, 21:38 IST

A private hospital in Bengaluru allegedly withheld a Covid-19 patient’s body and detained his relative after the family failed to pay up the medical bill.

Police have opened a case against the hospital after the deceased person’s sister-in-law lodged a complaint.

The state government recently issued an order, barring hospitals from withholding Covid-19 patients’ bodies if their families cannot clear the medical bill.

On May 17, RR Nagar resident Laxminarayana was admitted to Pathway Hospital in Channasandra after testing positive for Covid-19. The treatment didn’t work, and Laxminarayana died around 7 pm on May 27.

When the family asked for the body, the hospital asked them to clear the pending bill of Rs 3.5 lakh. The family expressed their inability to pay, the hospital allegedly abused them and asked they had admitted the patient when they cannot afford the medical care. Worse, the hospital staff allegedly detained the patient’s brother, Vinay, until the bill was cleared.

No amount of reasoning and pleading by the family cut ice with the hospital. The family then approached the police, with the patient’s sister-in-law Geetha filing a complaint.

RR Nagar police have taken up a case against the hospital under IPC sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

The hospital released the body after a visit by the police.

(Published 28 May 2021, 19:16 IST)

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