THE rumours of moles at hospitals who are ready and waiting to call undertakers in return for a commission payment as soon as patients die, are under investigation by the management of Malaga City’s Clinico hospital.
Two complaints from patients’ families sparked investigations as relatives reported having been phoned by undertakers while their loved ones were still alive. Contact details, taken by administration staff when patients are admitted, are apparently only available to staff who may have to call relatives with bad news, the hospital reported, meaning investigations are currently focused on A&E department (one of the supposed few with access to details).
Yet staff at the hospital say it has been going on for many years and happens on other wards too. Undertakers are allegedly paying commissions to hospital workers who ‘tip them off’ when someone dies, enabling them to contact the family and try to grab the business before anyone else does. The problem comes when the selfish mole has had their eye on a case for a while and fears the patient will die on someone else’s shift.
This has at least twice led to them phoning undertakers, who then phone the relatives, while the patient was still alive. Commissions paid are rumoured to be between €1,000 and €1,200, more in the case of people from abroad who need to be sent overseas.