The conscience of the nation was shaken when news came as how private hospital Fortis billed a seven year old dead girl’s parents of Rs 15 lakh for dengue care. The bill includes charges for 2700 gloves and 660 syringes. The poor girl Adya died on September 14. The matter was under wraps until a friend of distraught father of the girl tweeted to let the world know as how private hospitals fleece patients.
Once the tweet was out Government work up and Health Minister JP Nadda has initiated a probe. We all know what the probe would be. This is not the first time when news of private hospitals and doctors fleecing patients has come to the fore. Every time when media makes hue and cry it remains the talk of the town and then the issue dies a natural death. Till date – I do not remember anyone has been punished or private hospital being black listed..
But what astonished me is the campaign launched by doctors belittling the Fortis tragedy and blaming government for “making money” by imposing income tax and GST on private hospitals. I got the WhatsApp message in a group send by my Doctor friend. I know he has not written that. He has received it from other groups and passed the same.
The message said: “Fortis dengue bill decoded”.
I read it once and twice: The message says that expense incurred by Fortis was Rs 1 lakh as approximate investment and running cost of 16 days in ICU.
Though this is not conformation from Fortis that expenses is just Rs 1 lakh but I believe my doctor friend because they know ins and outs of the private hospitals. My question is if expenses if Rs 1 lakh why Hospital charged Rs 15 lakh.
The message further says that Fortis had to pay income tax of Rs 3,22,950 and GST of Rs 4,08,000 to Government which leaves it with the share of Rs 6,53,550 while the government got over Rs 7.30 lakh.
The message ended saying: Mind ur common sense before speaking as who is lootere
The message had an implied meaning that Government is a lootera not the hospital as people believe. I do not know what my doctor friend meant – does he approve Fortis hospital spending Rs 1 lakh on patient and charging Rs 15 lakh.
This is no secret that patients avoid going to state-run hospitals because of the lack of facilities. This is where the private institutions step in and cash in on people’s misery and mint money.
DailyO has summed it in its report by saying: “Fortis, in this case, as in numerous other episodes of medical negligence by private hospitals, is clearly hiding behind a maze of medical jargons and equally complicated protocol. Patients and their families are mostly left clueless during such situations with no option but to quietly “listen to the doctors’ advice”. And this is not the first time a private hospital has indulged in malpractice of this scale”.