That's called fleecing!

Mounting Bills

That's called fleecing!

Falling ill and being hospitalised is a curse. Especially for people who hail from  middle class strata of the society. Hi-tech hospitals, which claim to provide premium health facilities, have turned into business entities forgetting the service motive which is associated with the noble medical profession.

These hospitals charge an exorbitant amount for the treatment they provide along with unnecessary tests and consultation charges. People say their income is insufficient to meet the medical demands and are forced to avail loans from the bank or borrow from their relatives.

Shivanand K S, an employee with a footwear firm, had an awful experience of losing his mother due to the sheer negligence of the hospital authorities. “My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and was administered excess dosage of medicine which had adverse affects on her.

Due to sheer negligence of the doctor, she had to undergo multiple surgeries which took her life in the end. The hospital charged me nearly Rs 2 lakh for her treatment although the doctor knew she wouldn’t respond to the treatment,” he recalls in agony.

Ramesh B, a security guard with a bank, says, “Doctors at the corporate hospitals prescribe a series of tests for small ailments and make an issue out of it. With prices rising everyday, it is already difficult for people like us to lead a normal life with our meagre income.

Since they charge huge sums for the treatment, we are forced to take loans and repaying them is again a problem for us. Although my organisation provides some financial assistance in troubled times, it is not sufficient to meet the demands of corporate hospitals.’’

Gyanu Murthy, a bank employee, who also had a bitter experience with a hospital, says, “I think the doctors should stand by what they advise and should at least tell the family members about the deteriorating condition of the patient. There is no point in keeping the patient on the ventilator despite knowing  that he or she would die.

I think the government should pass a resolution saying that people with meagre income be given concession in corporate hospitals.’’  Shekhar K, an attender at a fuel station who had a similar experience, says, “People like us who are not very well educated have a tough time since we hardly know anything about medical science. We don’t have an option but to listen to what the doctor says since the life of our loved ones matter a lot to us. Private hospitals should avoid tests that are not required.

I think the government should take a strong initiative to improve the facilities in government hospitals which are meant to cater to the needs of the lower middle class and middle class, than thriving on corruption.’’  

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