Michael Flor COVID-19 survivor. Photo Seattle Times

By Agency Report

While COVID-19 patients in Nigeria are treated free of charge, in the United States a 70-year-old survivor has been billed a heart-stopping $1.1 million(N434m) by the hospital that treated him.

According to Seattle Times, the survivor, Michael Flor was admitted to a hospital in capital of State of Washington, on March 4.

He stayed for 62 days — at one point coming so close to death that nurses held up the phone so his wife and children could say goodbye.

But he recovered.

He was discharged on May 5 to the cheers of nursing staff — only to receive a 181-page bill totalling $1,122,501.04.

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The bill includes: $9,736 per day for the intensive care room, nearly $409,000 for its transformation into a sterile room for 42 days, $82,000 for the use of a ventilator for 29 days, and nearly $100,000 for two days when his prognosis was life-threatening.

Flor is lucky. He is covered by Medicare, a government insurance program for the elderly, and should not have to take out his wallet, according to the Times.

But in a country where health care is the most expensive in the world — and the idea of socialising it remains hugely controversial — he said he feels “guilty” knowing that taxpayers will bear much of the cost.

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“It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent … But I also know I might be the only one saying that,” the Times quoted him as saying.