Man flees hospital after ruckus over bill

Jan 16, 2013, 08:04 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar and Anup Satphale

36-year-old accuses hospital of overcharging him for angioplasty procedure, claims security staff of the medical facility beat him when he protested; hospital refutes all allegations, files complaint against him for not paying bill

A 36-year-old man has accused a prominent city hospital of forcing his wife to sign the consent from, and then overcharging him for angiography tests and the subsequent angioplasty procedure. He also claimed that the hospital security guards beat him up after he protested against the inflated bill and the surgery.

Billing issue: Tejinder Singh Ahluwalia had got himself admitted to the hospital on January 4. At the time of discharge, the hospital slapped him a bill of Rs 4.7 lakh

Hospital authorities, however, refuted the allegations and claimed that the patient’s condition was critical and surgery was essential to save his life. The medical facility even accused the patient of assaulting the hospital security guard while escaping from the hospital premise without settling the bill.

The case
Shivaji Nagar resident Tejinder Singh Ahluwalia, had got himself admitted to Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital in Chinchwad on January 4. “I was returning from Mumbai. On nearing the PCMC area, I started feeling uneasy, as I was suffering from acidity and even started sweating. Since Aditya Birla Hospital was nearby, I asked my driver to take me there. After reaching there, I was admitted and some basic tests were done. All the tests were normal and the doctors then gave me some medicine and I started feeling better. However, later thedoctors suggested that I undergo angiography,” said Ahluwalia.

“I thought it was better to do it, as there should not be any issue or doubt and I gave the permission. The doctors even told me that I could see the tests live. They then gave me some injection and after that I fell unconscious. When my wife Balbir Kaur reached the hospital later, the hospital authorities told her that I was serious and there was 100 per cent blockage in my artery and there was immediate need for angioplasty procedure and also told her that a stent should be installed in the artery through angioplasty,” he added.

“Since I was unconscious, the hospital authorities started pestering her to sign the consent papers saying that I had a cardiac arrest and could fall prey to another heart attack anytime. Shocked with the news, my wife told the hospital authorities and doctors that she wanted to shift me to N M Wadia hospital. The hospital authorities refused her request saying that I was serious and the process of shifting would put my life at risk,” claimed Ahluwalia.

He also said that the doctors and the administration staff told his wife to give in writing that the hospital would not be responsible if anything happened to the patient while shifting him from the hospital. “She fell prey to the pestering and signed the consent papers. I regained my consciousness later in the night and found myself in the ICU room on ventilator support.

I later inquired with my two friends and my wife about the episode and they narrated the entire story,” said Ahluwalia. He then questioned the doctors and they informed him that there was a 100 per cent blockage in the artery and they had to perform the angioplasty. “I was shocked to hear that as only 10 days ago, I had Color Doppler ultrasound and 2D Echo tests at N M Wadia and all the tests were normal. I trusted the doctor’s conclusion and decided to undergo further treatment. My family also insisted that I leave after full recovery,” said Ahluwalia.

“On January 8, while giving discharge, the hospital slapped me a bill of Rs 4.70 lakh which was exorbitant. I protested and offered to pay part of the bill, but the security personnel assaulted me with batons and I sustained bruise marks to both my arms,” said Ahluwalia.

Ahluwalia then ran away from the hospital after hospital authorities refused to accept the part payment of Rs 2 lakh that the patient was offering. Ahluwalia claims that for mere angiography and angioplasty and a stent, the bill cannot be so high. He also said that he is not sure whether the angioplasty actually took place or if the stent was installed.

After he ran away, hospital authorities approached the Hinjewadi police station and filed a written complaint against Ahluwalia. DD Jagdale, API at Hinjewadi police station, said, “The hospital approached us on January 8, and submitted a written complaint against Ahluwalia stating that he ran away from the hospital without paying the bill.” He added that they summoned Ahluwalia to the police station and they would be taking down his statement too. 

The other side
Chief Executive Officer of the hospital Rekha Dubey said, “Ahluwalia is lying. When he was admitted to the hospital, his condition was critical and there was the need for angiography and angioplasty. As per his condition, we performed the surgery since he had a 100 per cent blockage to his artery.” She added that the patient’s wife too came late and wished to shift him to N M Wadia hospital. “We told her to do it on her own responsibility, as he was critical. She then gave her consent and we started the procedure. After a few days, when the bill was generated, Ahluwalia took a somersault and refused to pay the bill and in a bid to run away from the premises, he assaulted one of the security personnel wherein he bruised his fingers, said Dubey. When this reporter asked her to show the medical reports of Ahluwalia, she refused stating that the reports are confidential and cannot be divulged. When a request was put to meet the security guard who was assaulted, Dubey said she does not have any idea where he is. The name of the guard too was not revealed.  

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