Taking cognizance of the matter where Sunshine hospital in Secunderabad refused to hand over the dead body of a COVID-patient who was an ex-serviceman, for the non-payment of bills, Telangana High Court has directed Central government and Director of Medical and Health Services to enquire into the incident.
The court has also ordered to take strict action against the hospital if discovered that the bills raised were in excess and were in the nature of exploiting innocent people.
Justice T Vinod Kumar has also directed the Station House Officer (SHO) of Ramgopalpet police station to take immediate steps for the release of the dead body of ex-army man Ram Kumar Sharma.
Justice Vinod Kumar issued the directions through video conferencing in a petition filed in house motion, following the court holiday for the Raksha Bandhan festival. The petition was filed by the deceased’s son Naveen Kumar Sharma seeking directions to the hospital to hand over the body to the kin of the victim to perform the last rites.
Retired captain Ram Kumar Sharma was admitted to Sunshine Hospital on July 24 and Rs 2 lakh has already been paid twice to the hospital. The patient died on August 2 after which the hospital authorities have retained the body. The hospital authorities refused to accept the Central Government Medical Scheme which protects the victim.
Senior advocate Srikishan Sharma appearing for the family of the COVID-19 patient contended that the hospital’s action was a clear violation of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Besides this, he also called it against the provisions of the Clinical Establishment Act, 2010 and also contrary to the Medical Council Regulations framed by the Medical Council of India.
“When the petitioner wanted to take the body, the hospital refused to hand it over unless the further sum of Rs 4.68 lakh was deposited, he said and termed the action of the hospital in raising an exorbitant bill for Rs 8.68 lakh as a clear case of cheating, unethical trade practice and is against the charges of Rs 9,000 per day fixed by the State government,” stated the petition.
Telangana High Court suo moto impleaded the central government as a respondent party and directed the Director of Medical and Health Services to enquire about the incident. The matter has been posted for next hearing on September 11.