Andhra Pradesh Covid-19 Educational Health Legal

Woman dies after hospital ‘denies’ admission seeking payment in cash

Srikakulam: A woman breathed her last outside a private hospital at Rajam town in Srikakulam district on Wednesday after the hospital authorities allegedly denied her admission demanding payments “only in cash.”

The family members of the victim alleged that the hospital management insisted on paying the advance fee of Rs 60,000 only in cash to get the admission. The hospital management, however, denied the reports and said they have got permission to treat Covid patients only from Wednesday and that the “unknown” patient came before the staff arrived at the hospital.

N Anjali, 58, of VR Agraharam village in Rajam mandal, was rushed to GMR Care Hospital for treatment in an auto after she tested positive for Covid. The security personnel stopped the auto at the hospital gate and asked them to get admission at the reception.

They were allegedly asked for an advance fee, for which the family members were ready to pay through digital mode. The staff, however, insisted that the advance be paid in cash. With this, the family members went in search of ATMs. Meantime, as it was already an hour, the auto driver, with the help of the female attendant, shifted her to the roadside and left the place. “By the time we returned with cash, Anjali was in critical condition and our repeated requests to the hospital management to provide oxygen fell on deaf ears,’’ the family alleged.

What was more tragic was that no one came forward to shift the body of the woman to burial ground even as the local police and municipal officials were present at the spot. After sometime, a reporter of a vernacular news channel came forward wearing a PPE kit and helped the family to shift the body to the burial ground.

Medical Director of GMR Varalakshmi CARE hospital Dr Rajendra said the patient’s attendants did not disclose the condition of the patient and that the security guard asked the patient’s attendants to come at 9.30 am for admission.

Municipal commissioner N Ramesh told TNIE that he went to the area and arranged a vehicle to shift the body to her village. “The last rites were performed by following Covid protocol,’’ he said.