Today has been a long and tiring day for me as I was busy in arranging for medical assistance for my uncle's mother who unfortunately had a brain hemorrhage at an age of 87. The poor lady was not in a position to be driven at the back seat of the car and required proper ambulance setup to be carried to hospital. Of all the hospitals in NCR-Delhi, we chose a reputed one (name withheld on purpose) located in Noida. My uncle's brother-in-law is one dumb fellow I tell you, my dad had told that till I am arranging for funds and till my uncle reaches from Pune to Noida, kindly arrange the Ambulance and get the transportation sorted as we can't delay anything.
This dumb fellow, did not bother to inquire properly and sat there in hospital till 4.30PM until dad, myself and my uncle reached and we were shocked to learn that the ambulance has not been allotted for our purpose. Upon inquiring, the hospital's reception personnel said, sir, "We don't have ambulance at present and we have out-sourced the service for it
" which makes me ask one simple question; "What is the reason for opening such a big hospital if you can't give transportation during emergency?
My dad requested at reception, to sort out internal matters and arrange for ambulance at earliest to which the receptionist Mr. K Sarkar, said, "Hum nahi kar sakte sir aise, apko toll-free number pe call karna hoga" (Sir we can't allot like this, you'll have to call a toll free number for the same)
. My dad was really pissed off and raised his voice and was joined by my uncle. After venting out the much needed anger, in about 30 minutes an ambulance came from outside and we sent my uncle's Brother in-law in ambulance to Gaziabad to bring my uncle's mother to hospital.
Once the ambulance was there to leave, this obstructing Wagon R parked by some "educated" person blocked its way for about 30 minutes and eventually we had to change the exit gate. This was parked right inside the hospital's parking. As you can see, this car is occupying the de-marketed area kept reserved for ambulance.
As the ambulance reached back to Noida at 7pm with our patient, the ambulance person started asking for money, we paid him Rs 1500 and took a bill. Now 2nd question is, even if the hospital has outsourced the service, isn't it the duty of hospital to pay off the ambulance and later may charge to patient?
In many reputed hospitals, ambulance service is complementary if the patient is admitted in those hospitals. Moreover, the ambulance chap asked for 1700/- even when the hospital's rate is 1500. This bugged me even more but somehow I controlled.
Coming to the most shocking part, The hospital said, for admitting the patient, you need to pay Rs 20,000 as deposit without even considering the fact that for next 2 days and even today govt. banks are closed. Still with the debit card we made payment of 20,000 immediately. Then the staff said in the emergency ward said, get the clearance of payment
as it is required prior to conducting the surgery and amount to be paid Rs approx 1,50,000/- (One lac fifty thousand). Upon requesting them, they said we can manage only upto tomorrow morning and you need to make this payment. Seeing a loved one's life on the line of death, we arranged cash. Then while admission, the room rent for a deluxe room was told 10,000 per night
, which In Mumbai for example is the price of a 5 star hotel's room for a night.
After the preliminary diagnosis, it was found that a "multiple bur-hole" surgery needs to be done and total amount of Operation + Investigations + Procedure Charge
+ Post Operation Care + many other things is approx 2 Lac 50 thousand.
Of the mentioned in list, I recall some heads of expense as, Blood elements Rs 50,000, Doctor Fees around 10,000, Procedure charge 40,000, Room rent 16,500 (twin sharing for 3 days) and some other charges. After preparing this list, the counselor further informed that the costs may increase if in case the treatment pattern has to be changed or much more expensive medicines are needed.
Upon listening to this, my uncle said, I am a retired person and the lady is 87 years so no question of any medical insurance too so kindly reduce the charges upon which that person said, being a senior citizen I can offer just 15% on room rent which in this big sum of money appeared peanuts. Apart from this "I'll have to consult my senior"
! You won't believe, I went to have some snacks since I skipped my lunch, over there the price of 2 Veg Samosa was 64/-.
Seeing this type of commercialized approach, I simply feel, if by mistake a person may fall ill, its the biggest blunder. This hospital made me realize today that "you might fall ill, but make sure you have enough money in your pocket for medication
". Today saving a life has become a business rather than a voluntary service.