Nagpur: With the increasing incidents of doctors-patients fiasco over the bill payment giving rise to an alarming trend in the medical scene in Nagpur, the doctors are now keen to fix the onus of payments, once and for all.
Recently there were reports of kin of patients creating ruckus at famed hospitals in Nagpur over payments. The situation takes serious turn when the patient loses life while undergoing treatment.
Nagpur Today spoke to few eminent doctors and surgeons in teh city to air the view over the prevailing turbulence over hospital bill payments.
Many of them opined that there is an urgent need to make some laws that make it clear that some family member or relative is responsible for making the payments of medical treatment availed at private corporate hospitals.
They claimed that demanding payments from the family members or relatives when the patient has died is certainly an uncomfortable matter. The family member or relative are not in a good frame of mind. However, if the doctor or the hospital authorities permit the family members or relatives to carry away the dead-body, seldom does anyone come back to make the payments. In such cases, who should be held responsible for the payments?
If the doctor asks family members or relatives to deposit a huge amount before starting the treatment, everybody including the media raises the issue defaming the hospital and the doctor. However, if the doctor adheres to medical ethics and shows humanitarian consideration and starts the treatment and then asks the patient’s family members or relatives to make the payment, they seldom do it. They keep on deferring the payments with some or the other cock and bull stories. When the patient dies in spite all the efforts of the doctors, the relatives simply refuse to make the payments. So what should the doctors do? If the doctors ask the relatives and family members to take the patient to government hospitals then too the doctors are only defamed. When the patients wants excellent, professional services of a corporate hospital, then they should know very well that they will have to make the payments which will be way higher than that charged by government hospitals.
The city doctors have formed a group called Rapid Action Group. Whenever goons or unscrupulous family members or relatives create ruckus in their hospital, the doctor immediately passes an SOS message to the group and within minutes, all the member doctors of the group gather at the hospital so that an equal number of doctors are present to protect the interest of the doctor. This move has prevented many doctors from becoming victims to these unscrupulous goons and self-appointed youth leaders who come to fight for the rights of patients.
Director (Administration) of Orange City Hospital and Research Institute Dr. Anup Marar said that there is a need for some sort of law which makes someone from the family responsible for the payments of huge hospital bills. The doctors felt that they don’t mind the family members or relatives take away the dead body of the patient as long as they have an assurance of receiving the payments for the huge medical bills.
Treat them as the hotels do…!!!
Some of the doctors told Nagpur Today that if someone goes to a five star hotel, eats good meal and after that walks away without making payments will he or she be spared? The hotel immediately calls the police and books him or her. Similarly, if someone picks up a costly food item from the display and eats it and then tells I am not going to make the payment, do whatever you want to do, either he or she gets thrashed or is handed over and charges of theft can be imposed on him or her. Similar examples of people availing services from corporate or business establishment offering expensive services and not making payments can be booked under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code. Then why should the same not be applicable for doctors and hospitals?
Had the government not brought the doctors under the Consumer Protection Act, then the scenario would have been different, opined a city doctor.
By Samuel Gunasekharan