Farmer has no money for hospital bills

Oct 14, 2012, 06:49 IST | Naveen Nair

Vidharba farmer with brain tumour was admitted to Bombay hospital in May. Son says he has no funds or help from schemes to pay bills worth Rs 7 lakh

Pay your bills to get discharged from the hospital,” is Bombay Hospital’s final verdict to a patient who is a farmer and is unable to pay his bills which amount up to Rs 7 lakh.

After 72 year-old Durgadas Rathod, a poor farmer from Washim district in Vidharba in Maharashtra, was detected with brain tumour earlier this year, his son Avinash got him admitted to Bombay Hospital on May 31. However, even after a successful surgery, Durgadas continues to stay in the general ward of the hospital because he is unable to pay his hospital bills. Avinash expected that the bill would be around Rs two lakh, not Rs 7 lakh.

Durgadas Rathod

Durgadas was operated in June and was able to walk on his own within a week, according to the doctors at the hospital. Unfortunately, a week after the surgery, Durgadas developed an infection in his brain and was admitted to the ICU for further treatment. Now almost five months after his admission to the hospital, Durgadas still lies unconscious in the general ward of the hospital.

“When I first got my father here, I was told that my father’s medical bills would not exceed Rs 2.5 lakh. But I have already spent that amount on his medication.

The charges of the medical procedures and the ICU and general ward charges have added up to another Rs 4.5 lakh. I am a farmer and there is no way I’ll be able to pay this amount,” said Avinash. He added, “I have approached several trusts for monetary help but there has been no positive response yet.”

Dr Keki Turel, consultant neurosurgeon, Bombay Hospital, said, “After surgery, Durgadas suddenly suffered from an infection and we immediately had to admit him in the ICU. It is the ICU charges that have added up about Rs 2 lakh to the medical bills.” Dr Turel added, “The patient has been shifted to the general ward and he is charged only Rs 10 per day for the bed.”

Dr RK Choudhary, Medical Superintendent, Bombay hospital said, “I do not know about the patient’s case. I shall talk to his relatives of the patient on Monday and see what can be done. If the patient is genuine ly unable to pay his bills due to lack of funds, the hospital cannot force the patient to pay up. We may look into the case and whether he is fit for discharge according to the doctors, we shall approve his discharge.” 

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