A seven year old girl died after 15 days of stay at Fortis in Gurgaon. She had come there for treatment of dengue. And her bill for the 15 days? A jaw dropping Rs.18 lakhs! This is not a heart surgery; it was severe dengue!
The father was handed over a 20-page bill, which apart from expensive medicines had charged the family for 660 syringes, 200 strips to check blood-sugar and 2700 gloves! The galling part – when the girl died and the family was taking her home, the hospital asked them to go and pay for the hospital gown which she was wearing because she couldn’t fit into her clothes.
The hospital stated, ““Patient was treated in the Paediatric ICU (PICU) for 15 days and was critical right from the time of admission requiring Intensive monitoring. Treatment during these 15 days included mechanical ventilation, high frequency ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy, intravenous antibiotics, inotropes, sedation and analgesia. Care of ventilated patients in ICU requires a high number of consumables as per globally accepted infection control protocols. All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged as per actual.”
This is so typical. The lack of any faith in doctors and hospitals gets exacerbated when we hear such things. When hospitals are run like profit centers only and doctors earn to get back their “donation” money, how else can we expect India’s healthcare to get any better. Doctors treat patients as mere numbers and all eyes are always only on trying to assess ‘how much can we extract from this one?’ And to think that India is a medical tourist destination. Yes, India’s ‘hospital business’ is the most corrupt; a noble profession turned into that of a charlatan.