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Demonetisation: Minister Sadananda Gowda couldn’t get his brother’s body from hospital with old currency, uses cheque

He reminded the officials that hospitals are bound to accept banned notes till November 24, but they didn't budge. He paid by cheque to have his brother's body released.

The effect of demonetisation was first hand witnessed by Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday when he was unable to release his brother’s body from Kasturba Manipal Hospital (a private hospital) in Mangaluru as it refused to accept old currency notes. At last he used cheque to pay and took a written declaration from the hospital that they refused to accept old currency notes.

Reportedly, when the minister arrived with his family to take the body, the hospital asked his brother’s son for Rs. 40,000. When Gowda’s nephew handed Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes that were banned on November 8, the hospital refused to accept them.

He stepped in and reminded the officials that hospitals are bound to accept banned notes till November 24, but they didn’t budge. He paid by cheque to have his brother’s body released.

Reportedly, the upset minister said he would order an inquiry and decide what action could be taken on the hospital’s refusal. “One should be able to give old notes to hospitals and since this is not happening, it is becoming very difficult and it is causing inconvenience to patients,” Gowda told reporters.

“In such a situation, where the government has made a decision, there should be considerations for patients. This step has done nothing but has resulted in a lot of inconvenience to the public at large. I have asked them to give it to me in writing, the kind of inconvenience that was caused to them.”

According to a report on NDTV, Saghir Siddiqui, hospital’s top executive told that he had asked for an explanation, and was told by officials that private hospitals were not asked to accept banned notes.

CNN-News18 quoted its sources as saying that the Union Minister has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brief him about his ordeal.

Gowda’s younger brother Bhaskar Gowda died on Tuesday at the Kasturba hospital in Mangaluru, 10 days after he was brought in with severe jaundice.

It had been announced by Government following the currency ban that old notes would be accepted for a limited period by hospitals, clinics, for railway tickets, for bill payment and at toll booths. It had clearly asked to accept old currency till November 24.

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