The font Peruvian dismantled suspected criminal ring that billed $ 21,000 per bed for critically ill Covid-19 patients at public hospital, worsening care in country hit by one of the deadliest virus epidemics in the world .
Authorities on Wednesday arrested nine people in a morning raid, including administrators of the public Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen de Lima hospital, according to the prosecutor Reynaldo Abia.
The scam was discovered after the police received a complaint from the brother of a man with Covid-19 who was asked for 82,000 soles ($ 20,783) to get an intensive care bed (ICU) and treatment in hospital, Abia said .
Health Minister Óscar Ugarte told reporters that the scam had immediate repercussions. "It 's totally reprehensible ", he said." We cannot negotiate with people's lives. "
Corruption scandals around sVirus attacks have already shaken the highest levels of power in Peru. Outrage at previous allegations that some senior officials had received preferential 'VIP' vaccinations prompted the country's health and foreign ministers to resign earlier this year.
The hospital involved in the most recent scandal, administered by the social security system EsSalud, provides free care. Patients must endure a long waiting list for the 80 intensive care beds offered by the hospital.
At the height of the pandemic, many patients paid large sums of money to private clinics as the public system nearly collapsed.
The number of I available The beds in CU have sinceclimbed to nearly 3,000 nationwide, from just hundreds available in March of last year, but beds are still in high demand in the Andean nation. Peru at the end of May tripled its official death toll from the virus and leads the world in deaths per 100,000 population from the disease.