Peru: Hospital workers arrested in £15K bed-selling scandal
Nine people have been arrested in Peru after accusations they have been charging Covid-19 patients the equivalent of more than £15k for hospital beds that should have been free.
The group includes the administratoirs of Lima’s Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen public hospital. They were arrested in an early morning raid on Wednesday.
The Peruvian police were tipped off by the brother of a Covid-19 patient who had been asked for 82,000 soles to get an intensive care bed and medical treatment.
The scam at the hospital was described as “totally reprehensible” by Health Minister Óscar Ugarte.
He added: “We cannot be negotiating with people’s lives.”
At the height of the pandemic, many Peruvian patients paid a lot of money to private clinics as the public health system was overwhelmed.
The hospital involved in the bed-selling scam is supposed to provide free care, but there is a long wait for intensive care beds.
There have also been claims that some top officials got priority access to vaccinations.
The country’s health and foreign ministers resigned over that scandal earlier this year.
Peru has had more than two million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 195,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Around 10 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, in a population of almost 33 million people
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