Clearing the air about rumours regarding SP Balasubrahmanyam‘s medical bills, his son SP Charan said it was the hospital’s decision to waive off dues.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday organised in collaboration with doctors from MGM Healthcare, where the late singer was being treated, Charan said that the family did not request for a discount on the treatment cost. He added that he had spoken to the Tamil Nadu health secretary J Radhakrishnan a week ago.
SP Balasubrahmanyam died on September 25 in Chennai due to complications from Covid-19. He had tested positive in early August and was under treatment at MGM Healthcare from August 5.
“We were regularly paying an amount and insurance covered a portion of the bills. Finally, the day Appa passed away, we asked if there are any settlement of dues to be made, we asked Dr Deepak whether we have to speak to someone in the billing department to settle our dues. Our accountant was also present with us at the time. We had come to the hospital with the money. However, instructions came from the chairman that said there is no need to take any money from them. He also instructed the hospital to make all arrangements to quickly and conveniently take Appa home. I did not understand this so I enquired further if I shall come back later and make the payment. This is when they said ‘Let’s not talk about the money again.’ This is what happened,” Charan said.
“For this, everyone in our family is extremely grateful. It was not that we couldn’t afford to pay the bill,” he added.
Charan also stated that he does not have clarity on when the hospital decided to waive off the dues. He refuted rumours about MGM hospital refusing to release his father’s mortal remains until dues were cleared.
“We didn’t want to request the hospital for any discount. Appa was in the ICU, the treatment needs to go on and money was not a factor for us. Appa coming back home was more important for us. We were regularly paying an amount to the hospital, every week,” he said.
While Charan had denied claims of approaching the Tamil Nadu government for help, he admitted to speaking to the Tamil Nadu health secretary a week ago. He, however, refuted the rumour that Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had to intervene in clearing the bills.
“I personally had spoken to the health secretary and had requested him. Before this, I had an information that the government had offered any sort of help that is required for our family. I didn’t have clarity as to whether it was financial help, I thought any kind of help the hospital required, they were willing to provide. So, when I had a conversation with the health secretary, I asked him ‘Was there any statement given by the health minister as to whether such an offer was there. He was not aware of it and he said he would check with the minister and get back to me at the earliest. This happened a few days or maybe one week ago,” Charan said.
“The government was in touch with us regarding SPB sir’s health,” confirmed a member of MGM Healthcare.
One of the doctors who was closely involved in treating the late singer explained that SPB had shown signs of ‘severe infection’ two days before his death. The doctor said that a CT scan conducted 24 hours before SPB’s death also showed bleeding in his brain. The infection, coupled with the bleeding affected organ function. “The infection worsened despite all the support and treatment and eventually resulted in cardiac arrest,” the doctor explained.