A terrible personal experience that made me realize how big private hospitals trick people through their manipulative practices

Today, I had a terrible experience at the Saket City Hospital‘s Emergency facility. It being a Sunday, the hospital’s OPD facility was not available. The duty doctor at the Emergency facility tricked me into taking a very expensive Dengue Test despite my repeated telling that I had no symptoms associated with the dengue fever. All I had was body-ache and mild fever. The hospital staff made me lie on a bed for more than half an hour for no rhyme or reason. After a considerable wait an attendant finally came to take note of my pulse, bp, and temperature. And even though my temperature came out to be normal (around 98 degrees), the duty doctor prescribed a series of blood tests to be done. In the meantime, one of the staff members filled my papers (while still not allowing me to get up from the bed… insisting that I must take rest, again to my amusement).

At last I forced my way to the reception in great frustration wherein the cashier told me that my bill (tests as well as consultation fees) totaled around INR 5500. Obviously, I got the shock of my life. When I looked at the bill I noticed that the Dengue Test alone cost me more than INR 3000. When I objected the cashier told me that everything has already been processed and it can’t be undone. He asked me to pay the amount through card or cash. I wasn’t left with any option but to comply. However, the entire episode shook me badly. It also showed me the dark side of the medical profession in a developing county like ours. I wondered how these big private hospitals would trick poor and illiterate patients when they could easily bilk an educated youth like myself. I left the hospital premises feeling cheated and utterly disappointed and frustrated at the same time.

I sincerely hope that the concerned government departments/ministries would become sensitized in the near future and would come up with stringent guidelines and transparent complaint channels so as to keep a check on such manipulative practices in private hospitals across India.


About A Potpourri of Vestiges

Murtaza Ali is an independent film critic, sports writer, and content developer based out of Delhi. He is the author of the movie blog ‘A Potpourri of Vestiges’. He has been writing movie reviews at IMDb.COM for over four years. He is also associated with F1India.ORG as a content editor. Cinema is not only his passion, but also his greatest obsession. His all-time favorite movie-makers are Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Luis Bunuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Fritz Lang, Sergio Leonne, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Martin Scorsese.
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4 Responses to A terrible personal experience that made me realize how big private hospitals trick people through their manipulative practices

  1. abhiray59 says:

    Most of these guys are there to make money for the organisation. I can tell one hospital, Apollo, did biopsy on my mother. When she did not agree for surgery, the doctor did not prescribe painkiller and left for US. Such negligence is a case for lawsuit abroad. We know speed of our justice system.

    • I think the situation is grimmer than what it prima facie appears to us. Doctors no longer see serving humanity as a duty for them (in accordance with the oath they take), but it’s a way of making money… almost an exploitation of sorts for them. The private hospitals use the element of psychosis to terrify their patients with all kinds of health-related fears. The businessmen who run these institutes are obviously well connected and so it’s usually well beyond the reach of the common man to seek justice against any such medical negligence or manipulation.

  2. Alok Vats says:

    Who cares buddy? Do you think that any government or minister or even prime minister do take care of these things?

    One thing more, doctors has the point that without test results how they can be sure of the diseases of a patient and thus they can do anything which they want…

    • I know that the doctors try to make most of the liberties that their noble profession allow them to take. They say that these tests are an essential part of their diagnosis. But, at least, there should be some guidelines. Take the case of the test for Dengue Fever. A patient must show some Dengue symptoms for the doctor to prescribe such a test. In my case, I insisted that I had no such symptoms. I wasn’t even left with the choice of opting for the expensive test or not.

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