Boy Fights For Life, As Doctors Insist On Payment: My Ugly Experience With Hospitals

Posted on April 11, 2016 in Society

By Divya Human:

Women, who underwent a sterilization surgery at a government mass sterilisation "camp", lie in hospital beds for treatment at Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) hospital in Bilaspur, in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh, November 13, 2014. The doctor whose sterilisation of 83 women in less than three hours ended in at least a dozen deaths said on Thursday the express operations were his moral responsibility and blamed adulterated medicines for the tragedy. Dr R. K Gupta, who says he has conducted more than 50,000 such operations, denied that his equipment was rusty or dirty and said it was the government's duty to control the number of people that turned up at his family-planning "camp". REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee (INDIA - Tags: HEALTH CRIME LAW SOCIETY) - RTR4DYN3
Representation only. Source: REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee 

Last evening, I got a call from my brother, who seemed to be in a great rush. He said that an aunty needed Rs. 5000 immediately to admit her son in the hospital who was in urgent need of blood transfer, but the hospital authorities had denied him admission unless the money was deposited. My brother informed me that the boy might die if he did not get proper treatment.

Somehow the money was arranged but it raised tremendous anger in me. What are these hospitals that are regarded as life savers but can let someone die over a meagre sum of Rs. 5000! For them no money means no patient and no treatment. He might very well die but was not welcome to live if he couldn’t submit the fees. This incident is of a very renowned hospital in Ludhiana.

Well, this is not the first case of hospital brutality and negligence. It most definitely will not be the last.

Something similar happened to my uncle who lives in Amritsar, after my aunt delivered her first baby. Their daughter born was very weak and was kept on the ventilator. But unfortunately she died leaving my uncle and aunt traumatised and bereaving. My uncle was a poor man who could not afford to pay Rs. 25000 to the hospital. Hence, when he demanded their baby’s dead body for cremation, the hospital authorities denied to give the dead body till they paid the money. Thus my uncle borrowed twenty-five thousand rupees – a hefty amount for those who can’t afford it. Moreover, there was something grossly disturbing about a grieving father asking everyone for money so that he could collect his dead baby’s body from the hospital. This incident is not only about my uncle and his personal tragedy. This is about hospitals, without emotions, without humanity. Minting money over the misery of the human body.

When we hear of someone being killed for thousand rupees or lesser, we feel revolted and disgusted with the news. We shake our heads and say that the value of human life has decreased so much. But we never question the behaviour of educated and respectful doctors. Hospitals around India earn so much that it would hardly matter to them if they treated certain cases without charging their usual fee. They can afford to look into an emergency case without money. But they feel comfortable putting lives at risk, pushing people to extreme emotional conditions where they feel isolated and abandoned. But when a patient dies even after paying the bills, do they refund the money? No, never. They don’t care for loss of life. They care only for loss of money.

These are only two incidents, but I am sure many have faced similar nightmares and there will be many more. Because hospitals are no longer hospitable, they have become money making institutes where life and compassion take a back-seat.