Mohali, May 25
Members of various bodies of ex-servicemen gathered at Fortis Hospital here today to get the body of a defence personnel released who had died at the hospital. According to reports, warrant officer Baldev Raj (64) died at the hospital, but the management was allegedly not handing over the body to members of his family because the pending payments were not cleared.
Col SS Sohi (retd), president of the Ex-Servicemen Grievance Cell, said he had gathered members of other bodies to press upon the Fortis management to release the body as members of the family of the deceased were already under agony.
He said he had received a phone call from the daughter of the deceased who told him that the hospital was not releasing the body of his father as bills amounting to about Rs 2.57 lakh had not been cleared. However, after ex-servicemen argued with the authorities concerned the body was released without clearing the dues.
A press release of the hospital stated that Baldev Raj came to Fortis Hospital on May 14 in a critical condition. After an angiography he was diagnosed with critical cardiac disease, for which he was immediately wheeled in for a lifesaving cardiac surgery despite the attendants having no money to deposit. This was done in order to save his life. At this juncture, the family did not inform Fortis that Baldev Raj was an ex-serviceman.
The attendants had promised money within four hours of the surgery, but were unable to do so. However, they did deposit part of the payment in small fractions over the next three days.
The release further said after three days of the surgery, they presented a newly made ECHS benefit card and requested the case be converted to ECHS from cash paying.
Fortis asked them to get permission for the conversion. The family tried to get approvals for the conversion from the Command Hospital, but the approvals were denied as it was not permissible post admission. To help the patient’s family even the hospital authorities tried to get the approvals, but did not succeed.
The patient’s critical condition was explained to the family on daily basis. On May 24, the doctor called the daughter of the patient and told her that the patient was very serious. He passed away at 2.30 pm and the daughter was informed immediately. She requested that the hospital to keep the body in the mortuary for the night and said she would take it away in the morning after clearing the bills.
Courtesy: Tribune Chandigarh.
Comment: Kudos to Col.SS Sohi and his dedicated men. Despite lot of publicity
for the ECHS, still lot of ex-servicemen are reluctant to join ECHS. All welfare
Associations must help their members to join ECHS immediately.