The Karnataka government has warned of stringent action against private hospitals including cancelling the licence if they hold back bodies of those who succumb to coronavirus till the bills are cleared by the relatives. An order to this effect was passed by the Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Jawaid Akhtar.
According to the order, the government has taken a serious view of reports of hospitals holding back bodies of those who died of COVID-19 till the bills are cleared by the kin. The officer said under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act, 2007, no hospital can refuse to hand over the body of the deceased to relatives after his/her passing away.
“The deputy commissioners of the districts have been directed to cancel the licence of the hospital and initiate appropriate action under the KPME Act-2007 if such instances come to light. Further, the district authorities have to report on a weekly basis about any such incident coming to light," Akhtar said in his order. Sources in the health department said the step has been taken to stop private hospitals from harassing relatives and dumping bodies in the open as has been reported in some parts of the country. .