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Do you have a Hospital Horror Story?

Last updated on: January 19, 2015 22:19 IST
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Did you or your family undergo surgery and face a life-threatening situation because of a hospital's negligence?

Were you grossly overcharged by the hospital? What happened when you took it up with the hospital?

TELL US!

Do you have a Hospital Horror Story?N Pathak (name changed) was stunned when, after an emergency operation at a Mumbai hospital -- to relieve acute colon blockage, which was a malignant tumour -- he discovered that his hospital bill had risen to Rs 6.32 lakhs.

It was well beyond his insurance cover. And it exceeded the hospital's own pre-surgery estimate by nearly Rs 2 lakhs.

There was no time to dwell on his condition and treatment.

Instead, he and his family had to pore through the nearly 14-page bill that listed things like hundreds of gloves, and physiotherapist visits at night that neither he nor his family could remember, to determine if everything was in order.

It even included physiotherapy on the day of discharge, which he had not undergone.

Pathak's family and colleagues ran from pillar to post. There was no clear explanation as to why the bill had jumped, despite the eminent surgeon forfeiting his fees in view of Pathak's financial situation.

The billing department as well as the financial counselling department were openly hostile to being questioned. They said there had been errors in the organisation of the bill -- certain items were under wrong headings.

It took another day to raise the additional Rs 2 lakh in cash, for which Pathak was charged one more day's hospital fees.

The hospital is part of a chain of hospitals, headquartered in Delhi.

When Rediff.com met the Mumbai hospital's management, they apologised and promised to return Rs 10,000 from the bill to Pathak.

That is a fraction of compensation for Pathak's ordeal.

Pathak's story is all too common at hospitals across India.

Bills are routinely inflated and there is no grievance redressal system. It is left to the patient's family to check with doctors, nurses, pharmacies, across several departments in a hospital, about the bill.

The horrors magnify as you move from city to town to village.

Why do hospitals create a situation where the patient is left doubting her or his care?

Why should the entire burden of verification and keeping tabs on whether the hospital is being unscrupulous or uncaring fall on the patient and her/his family?

What happens to poor people who cannot exert 'influence'?

Why are Indian hospitals not responsible for the success or cost of a surgery like most countries in the world?

Why are the people seeking medical care the most vulnerable and the most devoid of rights in India?

To highlight this critical lapse in health care in India, we want to hear YOUR HOSPITAL HORROR STORY.

  • Did you or your family undergo surgery and face a life-threatening situation because of a hospital's negligence?
  • Were you grossly overcharged by the hospital? What happened when you took it up with the hospital?

Please send us a brief outline of your case, the name of the hospital, admission dates, along with scanned copies of your hospital bills and correspondence with the hospital, via e-mail, with the subject line Hospital Horror Story, to getahead@rediff.co.in

Rediff.com reserves the right to follow up with more questions, and will publish your account only on being satisfied about the genuineness of your account.

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