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.