Pvt hospital doctors arrested for fraud, overcharging Covid patient kin


Four doctors working at a hospital in Chakan were booked for overcharging the kin of a deceased Covid-19 patient despite warnings and a cap on the bill amount by the state government.

The accused doctors work at Chakan Criticare hospital.

A complaint in the matter was lodged by Dr Nanda Ganpat Dhawale (58), medical superintendent at Maharashtra state government rural hospital, Chakan, Khed.

The doctors and their hospital charged the relatives of a man named Vijay Lakshman Pokharkar form Ozar, Pune, ₹2, 53,300 for Covid-19 treatment between September 2, 2020, and September 16, 2020. Pokharkar was on ventilator and succumbed to the infection at the end of his term at the hospital.

The deceased person’s wife Pushpa Pokharkar had cleared the hospital bill after her husband’s death. However, in accordance with the state government rules, she had approached the district collector office machinery with the bill for an audit.

In May 2020, the state government had announced a cap on the private hospital bill for Covid-19 treatment. Every bill over ₹1.5 lakh was audited by local authorities.

However, on Saturday, state health minister Rajesh Tope announced that all Covid-19 treatment bills by private hospitals will be audited to avoid trickery by private hospitals.

A case under Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 34 (common intention) and 188 of Indian Penal Code was registered at Chakan police station against the four doctors.

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