What do you generally do if you’re seriously unwell? You go to a hospital, with the belief that highly qualified doctors will cure you, right? Well, if you’re in India, be warned that that’s not the only thing you signed up for.
Yes, commercialisation has crept into Hospitals too.
A simple pain in the gut can become a cancer scare, increase the zeroes on your bill indefinitely, and eventually make you realise you were perfectly alright all this while.
Here are some such stories that will make your hair on your back stand straight:
Horror story 1:
A young woman went crying in pain on a Friday to Max Hospitals, New Delhi. She had stones in her gall bladder and wanted removal of the same. At the Emergency area, she was first given drugs for the unbearable pain. After the dosage, which is heavy in terms of both the cost and the quantity, the patient was allowed a sip of water. The pain came back after a while and was even more excruciating than before, thanks to the water.
Rather than calling a specialist who would address the problem better, the hospital staff fully utilised the patient’s time by freely indulging in tests. When asked what they were testing the patient for, they said they didn’t know and were only following the doctor’s orders, who seemed too busy to answer his patient’s queries. Because obviously, the patient comes last. There is no room for information or its flow when a person’s life is at stake.
After much deliberation and discussion, it was concluded that Delhi’s ‘best’ gall bladder surgeon would have to be called in to remove it. After the necessary approvals, when the patient thinks the surgery is finally going to happen, they want more tests. What of the ones done earlier, you ask? Different doctor, different tests. Even the nurses were clueless as to why they were repeatedly taking blood samples. Moreover, they even came at 3 in the night, injecting syringes into the patient’s stomach, without offering any explanations. She is asked to rest on Saturday to let the pain subside. After another day passes, they inform the patient that the doctor will only be available on Monday. Now, the catch: Max hospitals have a 2.5 day package which they are desperate for patients to avail. They will ask you to get unlimited tests done, not accepting test reports of any other hospital or clinic.
And after the ‘God’ waved his magic wand, the ‘best gall bladder surgeon in Delhi’ tells the woman to be thankful it wasn’t cancer, and that she should have gotten it removed the very first day. Like they weren’t there for that in the first place. The woman had finally been operated upon, but guess what, their woes were far from over. She developed a clot post the operation, and the surgery, which generally takes two days to recover from, played her for two months.
And that is without mentioning the pain of taking the clot out of the hole they’d removed the stone from, by squeezing the bad blood out. A patient was diverted from her original purpose and made to do myriads of redundant tests to keep them there for long and ultimately make the hospital a money spinner.
Horror story 2:
Two reporters from a Hindi national daily went to Fortis Hospitals as a ‘patient’ and kin. The reporter playing the ‘patient’ pretended to have chest pain and was rushed in emergency, along with his concerned relative. The nurses were pretty serious, and did not want any interference in their work and asked the relative not to hover. The ‘patient’ was taken for several tests and scans, the nurses’ faces growing more perplexed and serious after each one. They played their role perfectly, repeatedly asking the relative not to worry, that they were doing their best to ensure the well-being of the ‘patient’. Meanwhile, a nearby patient told them that some nurses had come to take his blood. And when they couldn’t find the correct vein in one arm, they moved to the other, turning the needle so bad that the patient cried out in pain. Finally, when they managed to find a vein, blood poured out like a fountain and spilt all over the flood. Even the nurses are not trained well, you see. The doctor’s report came after two days saying there was a risk of a cardiac arrest. The ‘patient’ had to be admitted immediately and sent for surgery.
The catch : There had been no chest pain and the young reporter was nowhere near being prone to heart attacks.
This only goes to show how far hospitals will go to entangle unsuspecting people in a nexus of doctors and tests and whatnot.
The Hippocratic Oath, which doctors so fondly take, does it hold no moment when it comes to practicing medicine?
If this goes on, I’m sure no one will ever feel like entering a ‘healing’ place again.
Moreover, the patients should also realise they are being exploited and fake a stand against the injustices taking place against them. If the exploited themselves don’t show protest, how will the exploiters ever stop?
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.