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Apathy of Fortis Hospital towards BPL/EWS families

To: Director Department of Health Services Delhi Subject: Gross Irregularities by Fortis Vasant Kunj Dear Sir, This is to bring .....




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07-24-2013
Junior Member
 
: Jul 2013
: New Delhi
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Angry Apathy of Fortis Hospital towards BPL/EWS families


To: Director Department of Health Services Delhi

Subject: Gross Irregularities by Fortis Vasant Kunj

Dear Sir,

This is to bring to your notice gross irregularities being undertaken by private hospitals in spite of High Court & Supreme Court rulings, Central and Delhi Government directives and the Hon'ble Health Minister Dr. Ashok K. Walia's strong directive issued to private hospitals for treatment of poor patients.

I would like to briefly let you know about what happened y'day at the Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital at Vasant Kunj, where my maid had taken her around 3 year old daughter to get treated from electrocution. While immediate emergency treatment was accorded, they refused further treatment stating
1. They did not have the requisite resources i.e. Paediatric ICU to take care of the kid
2. The treatment is very costly (Rs. 20 - 40,000 per day)

Despite being informed by the parents that they hail from very poor families, the doctors & the hospital authorities were reluctant to do further treatment. On our (me & my wife) intervention, they asked the parents to produce the BPL card or a referral letter and that merely showing the Adhaar and ESIC Cards of the parents would not suffice. Even though we reminded about the Court rulings & Delhi Government directives (clearly mentioned in your website) they were adamant not to admit & do further treatment. Also they initially charged approximately Rs. 6800 for emergency ward and ambulance charges, when the parents said they could not pay & we again intervened, they reduced that to Rs. 5700. We bore the expenses on behalf of the parents. Also despite the Doctor mentioning that the child would be kept in ventilator support in the ambulance during transfer from their hospital to ESIC Basai Darapur, no such support was provided and the ward doctor accompanying the child mentioned that they would have manual hand-pump for emergencies, if any.

With reference to some of the points in your guidelines issued,
(i) The Special Referral Desk for EWS patients must be functional round the clock and managed by a nodal officer whose name, Telephone No., e-mail ID must be prominently displayed & updated in the webpage. (iii) The hospitals must prominently display a board at a conspicuous place bearing the name, designation. and contact number of the Nodal Officer. THERE WERE NO STAFF AT THE COUNTER AND NO DETAILS WERE DISPLAYED.
(viii) After the discharge of patients who have been provided free treatment, the concerned hospital shall submit a report to the referring hospital indicating there in the complete details of treatment provided and the
expenditure incurred thereon. EXPENSE DETAILS HAVE NOT BEEN FORWARDED TO THE ESIC HOSPITAL AT BASAI DARAPUR, ONLY TREATMENT DETAILS WERE FORWARDED.
(ix) All the facilities /treatment being provided to the paid patients by the concerned Identified Private Hospitals must also be provided to the eligible patients of EWS category. AS IS PERTINENT FROM MY E-MAIL THIS WAS NOT DONE, THOUGH FORTIS HOSPITAL AT OKHLA COULD HAVE PROVIDED THE REQUISITE FACILITIES/SERVICES.
(xi) It may be assumed that the patients having either BPL card, AAY card or a valid income certificate issued by the office of concerned Dy. Commissioner, SDM, Tehsildar fall under the eligible category of EWS patients i.e. their monthly family income is less than the minimum wages of an unskilled worker, hence , such patients may not be asked to fill an undertaking and a copy of any of the above mentioned documents would suffice for their eligibility for free treatment. For patients not carrying any of the above mentioned documents filling of an undertaking is mandatory. Apart from the undertaking proforma provided by this Directorate the eligible category of EWS patients may not be asked to fill any other kind of undertaking by the Identified Private Hospitals for patients either referred by Government Hospitals or admitted by the Identified Private Hospitals on their own ( for patients admitted by the Identified Private Hospitals on their own, the linked Govt. Nodal Officer may be informed to verify the genuinity of such patients within 48 hours of admission). THIS AGAIN WAS NOT FOLLOWED
(xii) If the concerned Identified Private Hospital has inadvertently charged for treatment of eligible patients of EWS category they must refund the amount to the said patient/attendant at the earliest and if they have charged from such patients deliberately it would be viewed as contempt of the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 01/09/2011 and High Court of Delhi dated 22/3/2007. I HOPE THE MINISTRY / DEPARTMENT TAKES COGNISANCE OF THE MATTER AND ACTS ACCORDINGLY.
(xiv) The hospital charging any money for treatment of eligible patients of EWS category shall be liable for action under the law and it would treated as violation of the order of the Court. The Director/M.S./Member of the Trust or the Society running the hospital shall be personally liable in the event of breach /default. I HOPE THE MINISTRY / DEPARTMENT TAKES COGNISANCE OF THE MATTER AND ACTS ACCORDINGLY.

Despite repeated requests the MS did not bother to meet us nor were we provided details of the MS. There were no staff in the EWS counter, no communication details displayed & the lady staff at the reception was unaware of the hospital's EWS policies.

Now, enough hue & cry has been made about this in the media, the most recent known was an investigation by NDTV Channel in the year 2011 covering the same hospital amongst 2 covered. Also the Hon'ble Minister has claimed to have sent notices to such hospitals. In spite of this, if these private hospitals act in such irresponsible manner, strict action / penalty, including considering shutting down of such hospitals, should be considered by the Health Ministry / Health & Family Welfare Department. Such actions, delays or irresponsible behaviour of Hospitals are uncalled for.

I have attached the invoice for the above-mentioned charges and the point in question is not about the quantum of charges, but the nature & manner, in which they have been charged. In response to a complaint lodged with the COO of Fortis Healthcare, all that we’ve received so far is the trailing e-mail confirming receipt of the mail. For your information, the child is currently at ESIC Basai Darapur and her condition is still not stable.

Sir, I humbly & sincerely request you to look into this matter so that in future, such incidences do not get repeated and hospitals take a more humanistic approach while dealing with patients from the Economically Weaker sections of the society,

Yours truly,

Sanjeev Hariharan
Mob: +91 99102 36172

-----Original Message-----
From: feedback@fortishealthcare.com [mailto:feedback@fortishealthcare.com]
Sent: 23 July 2013 01:32 AM
To: sanjeevhariharan@gmail.com
Subject: Feedback: Fortis India

Hello,Sanjeev
Your request has been submitted successfully. Details are given below.

First Name :Sanjeev
Last Name :Hariharan
Are you the patient ? :No
Gender :Male
State elhi
City elhi
Hospital :Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi Telephone :91 11 9910236172 Email ID :sanjeevhariharan@gmail.com

Feedback :

Kind Attn.: Mr. Ashish Bhatia, COO

Dear Mr. Bhatia,

Y'day our maids daughter aged around 3 years suffered a severe electric shock, while she accidentally handled a live wire outside her house. She was immediately taken to your hospital at Vasant Kunj & treated in Emergency. However, they said further treatment would not be possible as the costs are every expensive. While the parents were told it would be around Rs. 40k per day, we on going there were told it would cost Rs. 20 K per day. This was, even after conveying to them, that the family was very poor and could not afford to pay. When we approached the reception, the receptionists had no clue of what policies prevailed for EWS category. The separate counter flashed there had no staff. On the Dr's. recommendation, the kid was then moved to ESIC Hospital at Basai Darapur. However, this was after a payment of Rs. 6979 was levied for treatment & ambulance charges. Unable to bear the expense, the parents approached us and when we confronted the reception, a discount of merely Rs. 1280 was offered. We reminded the staff at the counter that treatment for EWS families should have been free as per High Court & Supreme Court orders and that no income proof should be asked and only a declaration is enough. However, one Mr. Robin after claiming to have spoken to the MS, who refused to meet us & whose name was also not disclosed, mentioned that they could do nothing. We ultimately bore the expense on the parents behalf. However, it pains me to know that when there are provisions under law stipulating hospitals such as yours to provide free treatment to EWS families, why do your staff / hospital show such apathy? In this case, they have only provided emergency treatment for around 2 hours, which could have easily been offered free to the poor parents, who were anyways under severe stress and duress. I would expect a reply from you, as operating head of such an institution and demand a suitable inquiry into the workings of the MS and the other staff.

Regards,

Sanjeev Hariharan

Thank you
Fortis Healthcare Limited, India
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