A doctor, who was running a hospital for Covid patients during the second wave of the pandemic in Miraj city of Sangli, Maharashtra, has been arrested on Friday by cops from the Mahatma Gandhi police station on charges of culpable homicide and overcharging patients. The development came after an investigation revealed that the hospital did not have adequate doctors, equipment and other facilities needed to treat Covid patients.
A magistrate court on Saturday remanded the accused, Dr. Mahesh Jadhav, 36, who was running the Apex Care Hospital, to police custody for seven days. Dikshit Gedam, superintendent of Sangli Police, confirmed the development.
Officials said that on April 14, Jadhav, who has said that he holds MBBS, MS (Plastic Surgeon) and MCH degrees, was granted permission by the local municipal commissioner to treat Covid patients. However, after receiving complaints on May 21, a team of municipal health officials led by health officer Dr. Sunil Ambole conducted an inspection and learnt that patients were being overcharged by the hospital without providing any treatment.
Ambole also reportedly found out that the stipulations and guidelines laid down by Directorate of Medical Education and Directorate of Health services were not being followed by the hospital.
Ambole lodged a FIR with the local police on May 27. On May 29, the police conducted a panchnama and found out that there were three doctors appointed by the hospital but none of them were on full time duty.
“In 43 days, 207 patients were admitted and out of them 87 died. The hospital did not have any basic equipment like defibrillators, Xray, suction machine or ECG machine for treatment. There was only one ventilator and 10 BiPAP machines. We added sections of culpable homicide to the charge,” said Shashikant Chavan, senior inspector of the police station.
“Last year, homeopathic students were acting as Resident Medical Officers here (RMO) and treating Covid patients by taking instructions from these doctors and Jadhav on the phone. They were also writing death notes after a patient died,” said another police officer.
Earlier, five staffers of the hospital have been arrested.