Maharashtra: After baby death, Centre asked to raise cash time limit for hospitals

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “We have approached the Union Finance Minister to extend the deadline. We are still to hear to hear from the central government on this.”

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:November 13, 2016 1:05 am

The Maharashtra government on Saturday requested the Centre to extend the deadline for public and private hospitals to accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for another 72 hours after it received several reports of doctors and hospitals refusing patients who could not pay in lower denominations or by card.

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Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told The Indian Express, “We have approached the Union Finance Minister to extend the deadline. We are still to hear to hear from the central government on this.”

On Friday, Mumbai Mirror had reported that the police had registered a complaint of Jagdish Sharma, who alleged that his son, born premature, succumbed due to want of hospitalisation amid the cash crunch. The newspaper had also released a record of the conversation with the doctor.

The newborn’s parents, Jagdish and Kiran Sharma, claimed that their son could not be admitted because they did not have Rs 6,000 in cash in lower denominations to pay at Jeevan Jyot Hospital and Nursing Home on November 9. The newborn died on Friday after allegedly being turned away by the hospital.

The hospital’s gynaecologist, Dr Sheetal Kamath, claimed the baby required neonatal intensive care unit facility, which the hospital lacked. “I asked the parents to admit the baby in Sion Hospital,” she said.

On Saturday, the police registered a case against Dr Kamath. They said they would probe the case further and examine CCTV footage from the hospital.

Another patient complained of refusal of treatment. Priti Choksi, a 64-year-old cardiac patient, reportedly could not conduct her blood test on November 9 at some of Mumbai’s well known hospitals. Her family claimed that most hospitals refused to accept the old notes despite the government circular asking them to accept the now invalid currency.