• The deceased woman's son said the doctor hid her death from them
  • They allegedly continued to pay bills for her treatment even after her death
  • The fraud came to light after the death certificate showed a different date

A doctor has been arrested for hiding the death of a patient from her relatives while continuing to charge them for her "treatment."

Dr. Yogesh Watharkar, hailing from the Indian state of Maharastra, faces charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery of documents and irreverence for dead bodies, reported The Times of India.

Police said the arrest was made last Thursday after Salim Hamid Sheikh, the deceased woman's son, filed a complaint. According to the complaint, Sayra, 60, was admitted to the Adhar Health Care hospital at Islampur town on February 24 in a critical condition.

After days of treatment, the hospital authorities informed Sheikh on March 10 that his mother had passed away. Her body was released to the family with a discharge certificate mentioning March 10 as the day of death.

However, the alleged fraud came to light when Sheikh approached the local health administration to get the death certificate. To his shock, the date mentioned in the certificate was March 8.

Though he approached the hospital authorities seeking an explanation, the response wasn't satisfactory, Sheikh alleged in the complaint. He filed a police complaint.

According to Sheikh, he was charged Rs 41,289 ($553.79) between March 8 and 10 for the treatment. He alleged that the doctor hid his mother's death from them for two days.

He also alleged that the hospital overcharged them for the treatment. "We have arrested the doctor and have received police custody till July 12 for interrogation," a senior police official told the Times of India.

After the issue came to light, the district authorities have also sought a report from the police. Authorities believe this isn't the first time that the doctor and the hospital have indulged in such unethical practices.

In a similar incident in May, a woman filed a complaint against a private hospital in India for allegedly hiding the death of a COVID-19 patient until the family cleared the bills. The wife of the deceased man alleged the hospital hid his death from them for three days. The family was informed about the man's death only after they paid the amount asked by the hospital, she alleged.

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