Singer S P Balasubrahmanyam was admitted to MGM Healthcare from August 5 until his death on September 25. Following this, rumours started doing the rounds on social media that his family was unable to pay the bills, had to reach out to "Delhi".
Viral claims suggested that Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu's daughter finally settled the bill so that the hospital can release the artiste's mortal remains.
"3Crore plus for 51 days . . Rs 1.85 crore balance had to be paid by SPB's family in the morning to take the mortal remains. An Appeal to Delhi and the relief.. Vice president Venkaiah Naidu's daughter went and cleared up the hospital bill after which the body was released," reads the caption of one such post.
The claim has been shared extensively on Facebook and also as a WhatsApp Forward.
Late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam's family was not able to clear hospital bills. The Central government cleared the bills when the Tamil Nadu administration denied help.
The claim is false. Balasubrahmanyam's son S P Charan stated on Sunday, September 27 that the viral claims are false. He appealed to the people to stop rumour-mongering and allow the family to grieve.
"There are rumours about bills and that we paid something and there was balance, and that we requested the Tamil Nadu government but they did not reciprocate, and I had gone to the Vice President of India and they had reciprocated instantaneously… Also, that unless we had paid the balance amount, the hospital was not releasing my dad's body for last rites. Let me just say one thing, this is all a big hogwash. I don't know why people do this, without even consulting us," Indian Express quoted him as saying.
"They (rumour-mongers) don't seem to realise how offensive this was for people associated with this issue. It was very disheartening. Very sad that we still have such people around us… SPB was a person who would have forgiven this person who spread this rumour," he further said.
According to a senior doctor in MGM Healthcare, several individuals which included his fans and Tamil groups in Tokyo, London and Paris had volunteered to pay the singer's bills.
"There were many more individuals from Tamil Nadu who volunteered to do the same as the hospital stay was long. But some doctors who treated him had decided to not charge any fee for the legendary musician's treatment. The management also had taken a similar decision in my knowledge," the doctor was quoted as saying.
The late singer's family had reportedly paid a certain sum after the first 15 days of Balasubrahmanyam's treatment, however, the remaining amount wasn't charged by the hospital out of respect for the late singer.
Further, SP Charan had earlier posted a Facebook Live, where he refuted the viral claims which he said were hurtful.
Therefore, the claim that SPB's family struggled to settle hospital bills and appealed to the government for help is absolutely false.
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