An FIR has been filed against Paras Hospital in Gurugram for violation of the Epidemic Diseases Act after the hospital allegedly forcefully discharged a suspected Covid-19 patient, who was a senior citizen, in May.
Though the test report of the patient returned negative later, the senior citizen alleged that because of the wrong Covid-19 report, he along with his family had to face mental agony.
The development comes nearly four months after the health department found violation of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, on the part of the hospital and recommended actions as per the law.
After the recommendation of the district health department and following a police investigation, a case was finally registered on Friday at Sushant Lok police station in Gurugram.
As per the complaint filed by the 71-year-old patient, a former Indian Air force personnel, “On May 18, 2020, he had got himself admitted to the Paras Hospital, Gurugram, for treatment of ‘Ankylosing Spondylitis’ with a pre-approved amount of Rs 2, 20,000 from ECHS, Gurugram."
The complaint went on to say that the same morning, the patient underwent a test for coronavirus and later in the midnight he was woken up by the hospital staff and informed that he had tested positive. Thereafter, the patient alleged that despite his several requests, the hospital had refused to provide any medical assistance and later discharged him forcefully and issued a bill of Rs 12,691 which he refused. The hospital authorities forced him to make a payment for Rs 6,000 which the victim again refused since his treatment was cashless with a pre-approved sum of Rs 2,20,000 already submitted to the hospital.
The agony does not end here, as the hospital staff refused to provide reports for the investigations conducted, including a report for coronavirus test and discharge summary.
“The hospital staff forced me out of the hospital premises with a fear of having corona. They left me without any support. I found myself helpless as I was going through mental and physical humiliation and unexpected behaviour from the hospital staff and authorities. Ultimately I had to leave the hospital," the man told the police.
The victim also claimed that he later received a WhatsApp message with his corona test report from the hospital staff. Since then the complainant was under self-quarantine in DLF Phase-4. He used to stay with his family in Sector 10 before.
Thereafter, the Civil Hospital conducted corona tests on his family members and screened of all the residents in their locality in Sector 10.
“On May 20, the complainant approached the then Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Deputy CMO Anuj Garg at the Civil Hospital and the SHO of Sector 29 police station and informed them about how he was ill-treated by the staff and authorities of the hospital.
On May 21, his sample for corona test was collected by the Civil Hospital and the report returned negative. The reports for all the other family members also returned negative.
“Because of the wrong report given by the hospital, me and my family members had to live separately and they also had to be quarantined for one month with restrictions on movement. They also faced unreasonable behaviour from the society members for no fault of theirs," the victim said. The society got sealed and was declared a hotspot because of one wrong report shared by the hospital.
“I had approached the CMO’s office multiple times and was told that it is the duty of the police to take necessary action against the hospital. But at the police station I was told that this is the job of the CMO’s office," he said.
Finally, the CMO’s office made enquiry against the hospital on the direction of the Gurugram Commissioner wherein the hospital was found to be at fault as it violated Epidemic Diseases Act.
On its part, the hospital management said in a statement, “At Paras Hospitals, we are committed to providing the best healthcare facilities to all our patients at affordable prices. We have taken the biggest health threat, the coronavirus pandemic, very seriously. The case is in the hands of competent authorities and we have extended our best possible support to them in their investigation and will keep extending full cooperation."