Pune: Kin of deceased 71-year-old patient have alleged that Symbiosis hospital took money from them for treatment of COVID-19 despite the contract with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in which bill amounts up to Rs 1 lakh are paid by the PMC for patients coming from low-income group or those eligible under the urban poor and government schemes. Moreover, the family has also raised suspicion about the patient’s death within one hour of the payment.
Chandrakant Shankarrao Kijbile (71), a resident of Jay Bhavani Nagar in Kothrud was admitted at the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Vidyalaya centre in Kothrud but as his health deteriorated, he was shifted to NICMAR COVID Care Centre in Balewadi. Later he was admitted at Symbiosis Hospital for further treatment.
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Kumar Kijbile, son of deceased Chandrakant Kijbile said, “Symbiosis hospital has taken Rs 28,800 from us. They have charged Rs 24,000 for injection and Rs 4,800 for CT scan. We were told that the Pune Municipal Corporation has arranged for free treatment on COVID-19 disease at the hospital, but nobody explained to us why that amount was taken from us. I must get detailed information about the treatment given to my father at the hospital.”
“We had paid the amount we were told and still after one hour the hospital informed us about the death of my father. Even the dead body was not handed over to us in time. We got an ambulance on Saturday evening. All this is very stressful for us. We have lost our family head because of lacunae in the whole administrative system,” Kijbile said.
PMC Health Chief Dr Ramchandra Hankare and Kothrud Ward office health officer Dr Anjali Tilekar could not be reached over phone for comment. Sandeep Kadam, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of Kothrud Ward Office said, “If a patient is getting treatment through the PMC at the hospital, then it must be enquired why money was demanded by the hospital. PMC health chief can give correct information about it.”
Sachin Dhankude, a citizen from Kothrud said, “We are watching and reading on several media platforms that PMC is bearing all expenses of COVID-19 patients. Not getting detailed information about treatment on patients, not getting an ambulance in time and hospitals demanding money from patient’s relatives is a serious matter which should be probed.”