Private Mis-management: your misadventures at pvt hospitals and nursing homes
I am happy that HT has taken an initiative to expose the increasing number of cases in hospital. As a victim who lost the most precious gem of her life, I would really appreciate if you could print my story.india Updated: Aug 20, 2009 19:09 IST
I am happy that HT has taken an initiative to expose the increasing number of cases in hospital. As a victim who lost the most precious gem of her life, I would really appreciate if you could print my story. I am a business correspondent with a B2B magazine but could not do anything for my mother who lost her life just because her treatment was not taken seriously by the hospital. Negligence at Ganga Ram Hospital has crossed all the limits. The ignorance and attitude of doctors took away life of my mother who had so many dreams in her eyes. Ironically, both my parents were treated for different diseases in Ganga Ram Hospital in 2007. Interestingly, the hospitals work on a smart strategy these days. They admit patients who have expensive diseases as they see good money coming in, if they see that other potential clients are available who can bring good revenues for the hospital they will ignore your patient and will refer you to some other hospital where they already have there commissions fixed.
My mother was suffering a severe chest infection and was vomiting blood when she was taken to the hospital. She was already getting treatment at Gagna Ram for three months and was getting her regular check ups done by Dr Neeraj who heads the Chest Department at Ganga Ram. In fact, the day my mom died she had gone for regular check up and Dr Neeraj told her that she was absolutely fine and should now take another medicine which will help her recover fast. My mom refused to take that medicine because the last time that medicine was given to her, the body temperature fell sharply and she had a very unusual feeling, however, Dr Neeraj insisted she took the medicines.
That night she took that medicine and after few minutes she started vomiting blood again. It was 2 am at night. We called Dr Neeraj and he assured that she will be fine and asked us give her one spoon syrup, but when it did not stop we called up again, he was sleeping at that time and said not to worry continue with that syrup. We waited for one hour but saw that our mom was losing consciousness and her situation was deteriorating.
We decided to rush to hospital, on our way to hospital, we again called him but he did not pick up the phone. Then in the hospital we informed emergency people that Dr Neeraj was treating her and he will be the best person to guide them, as he knows the case history. But despite our regular calls he did not pick up the phone and nor he gave any instruction to people in the emergency ward. My mom was taken to a small room in Emergency ward where the doctors were treating her, they kept on treating her, came out and said that she just had a cardiac arrest and she needs to be admitted in ICCU which will cost us more than Rs 20,000 a day. We agreed and she was shifted to ICCU. The next morning was Sunday and there were hardly any doctors in the premises, the first doctor came to visit her at 9:00 am by that time four hours had already passed and at 9:10 he declared her dead. But they did not gave exact reason of death. Next day I called Dr Neeraj and tried him to recall what happened the previous night, he was not even aware about the fact that his patient is no more and his sleep was so precious to him that he never called back to ask about the patient.
We accept that doctor has a difficult life but then the hospital should have the systems organized ina way that the doctors do not get stressed out. At Ganga Ram most of the times, when doctors advise patients for test that have to be conducted empty stomach, they make the patients wait for more than half a day and after that they come with a news that the test will happen the next day since the machine is busy or is not operating. One can imagine if this happens in a private hospital who charge so much, what would be the situation in government hospitals. Mr Rao has taken a moral responsibility of doing something good for mankind and if he cannot do it he should close the hospital but should stop playing with life of so many people who come with trust and faith, that after spending so much, they will be all right.
I have read your article "Oh mother, did it hurt alot?" in today's edition. I feel it's a true picture of private hospitals' approach toward their patients. Doctors working there always take views/opinion from patient to their egos.They simply tell about the next step (to be taken) if any information is sought. Then they will blame you for putting the patient's life at risk if you don't do what they want you to do.
Here I would like to share my own experience in SGRH hospital:
Last May was the 9th month of my wife's pregnancy and the EDD was 1 June 2009. By God's grace everything was going fine and she had mild pain on 31st May, so we have gone to SGRH on 1st June (as the treatment was ongoing over there). After inspection the doctor told us everything is normal but my wife needed to be admitted on that very day itself. They were taking regular NST and my wife was under stress due to regular NST and pain. Meanwhile I was informed by an assistant doctor that I need to sign consent for pain induction and that it's a routine activity for normal delivery (especially in case of first delivery) but in evening the doctor informed me that there was some problem with the heartbeat of my baby and I was sinking. So they were not left with any option and needed to go for surgery.
When I tried to take the doctors opinion she simply ignore my views and say I am the doctor you are not, so sign the consent and let us do our job.
I felt really helpless, I was urging her to avoid the operation but she was very reluctant to listen to my requests. And I when refused to sign the consent, she took it to her ego and told me that I was putting the lives of my wife and unborn child on stake. Then I told her that I wanted to have a word with doctor who was attending us during OPD.
I opposed the involvement of the first doctor in the surgery. On that consent form I signed the consent as: "Can't allow a person who is so hyper with me to perform surgery on my wife (when I have an alternate i.e. our regular doctor)."
Finally after surgery, our baby boy was born on 1 June 2009.
During the whole trauma I never felt they are taking my consent, it was always as if they ordering me to sign their diktat.
Next day Dr Ganguly (HOD of Gynea), asked my wife "How can your husband oppose a doctor's decision? And he can not put conditions (restricting the doctor) while signing the consent".
It quite surprised for me as it was the verdict of a very senior doctor - she found me guilty for my actions and that too without seeking any explanation from my side.
After that though I had tried to contact Dr Ganguly but after one or two attempts I decided to forget the whole episode.
But there were still some unanswered question in my mind:
1. Is there really any meaning in having a signed consent form or it's just a formality??
2. Why we have such a high rate of cesarian births (especially in private hospitals), when all the parameters are normal in most of the cases till D-day yet do not have normal delivery.
It was more surprising as when I decided to register in SRGH (being a pvt hospital) most my friends told me that I was going to have a cesarian child. I did tell them that my doctor is saying everything is normal and most probably we will have normal delivery but there answer was:
In the end the doctor is going to give following reason of cesarian:
- Heartbeat of your child is sinking
- Baby has changed it position (rotated)
- Placenta is wrapped around the baby.
- Baby has excreted in the tummy.
As per anonymous "Cesarian deliveries are on boom" and I wonder why?
This is in response to your story in Hindustan Times 'Life snatched after giving birth'. Private hospitals are playing havoc in name of patient's safety and health. My father, who was a government employee, opted for Sri Balalji Action Medical Institute in Paschim Vihar for a minor Hernia like surgery. He was supposed to be discharged in a day, but our fate had some other plans for us.
The doctors lied to us since the begining. They told us that it's a minor 1 1/2 hour operation, but when they took him to surgery they took more than 5 hours. Besides this, they were least bothered about my father's health post the operation. He developed severe complications the next day after operation, even then doctors paid no heed. After one more day he developed breathing problem and high pulse rate. It was then the Ct scan was done and my father was shifted to ICU. They operated on him again and found that there was a perfortation in his intestine which led to septic shock. He spend another 9 days on ventilator before expiring. This was unbelievable that he lost his life due to such a minor surgery which is carrried out almost everyday in government hospitals.
Doctors clearly ignored the obvious signs of complications which snatched my father's life. Even he didn't know that he would never come back home. I dont understand what right these doctors have to play with somebody else's life? If they can't do a surgery in the first place, why do they take up the case? Just for money or they just don't care about an innocent life. We are in the process of suing the hospital, but just thought of sharing my story with you.
I share the views of many readers that its really matter of great concern if premier corporate and private hospitals are not providing satisfactory healthcare to patients who are paying exorbitant amounts for treatments. It is surprising that these big names with various accreditations dont own respossibilities of doctors negligence and their management is adopting protective attitude towards erring doctors.
It seems that the HT (dated August 17, 2009 onwards) has turned social, raising very pertinent questions about problems being faced from medical field practitioners by the gullible people. Though I do not particularly have any episode on private hospital mistreatment but one such mistreatment by few doctors about 2 years ago cost me very dearly. I lost my beloved wife who was in her late thirties. Thank you for raising socially nagging issues. Please continue to do so. The society badly needs it.
CA Pawan Sharma
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I am a resident of Noida and I have also been a victim of the laxity and negligence of the doctors and administrative staff at Max Hospital, Noida. Early this year, my husband suffered from acute and gruelling pain in his stomach and I took him to the "so called best hospital in Noida" - Max Hospital in the wee hours and admitted him in emergency condition. The doctor and the staff seemed more interested in finishing their night shifts than taking care of the patient. My husband was just given a Nimusulide injection due to which the pain abated after some time. Surprisingly, I was told to get an ultrasound done of my husband to rule out the chances of stone and the date given for the same was next week. The doctor did not treat the problem but only abated it for a while, what if I had taken the patient home and after sometime the pain had re-surfaced. I had to clamor and shout at the administrative staff and doctor, to make them realize the need of immediate ultrasound, to which they finally agreed. Had I been an ignorant and demure person, they would have put my husband's life at stake. When I am paying emergency charges, then my patient should get immediate treatment.
This is the not the only incident, in April, 2009 my father had severe pain in his lower abdomen because of stones in his liver and we were met with the same negligence and carelessness at Max.
Thanks and regards
My husband was admitted in Metro Hospitals & Heart Institute, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi on November 24, 2007 and expired on December 21, 2007. The exact reason of the death of my husband is still unknown even after 2 years.
During his stay in the hospital, my husband was treated in a way befitting an animal. He was kept in ICU for days, in lying position with his hands, feet (and even testacles) tied as a result of which he was unable to move on his own and was dependant on others for almost everything. Moreover, being a respiratory patient, he was kept in the ICU meant for heart patients with no one to take proper care of him.
On the unfortunate day of the death of my husband, no doctor was present in the hospital. All the doctors were on leave, with some out of station. The patients were being attended by junior doctors who were not even aware of the cases. It is still unknown as to how the condition of the patient deteriorated within minutes and he could not survive. The junior doctors failed to give any satisfactory response and asked us to contact the treating doctors who were not present in the hospital. Moreover, no senior doctor was present.
In February 2008, the hospital was requested to provide details and documents such as daily progress sheets, medicine charts, diet charts, names & details of doctors and staff/attendants on duty etc, which the hospital refused to provide.
Being a CGHS empanelled hospital, an application under RTI Act, 2005 was filed with CGHS in April 2008 requesting to provide information, duly certified by the hospital authorities, regarding details of surgery, treatment given, medicines administered etc, among other information. The Medical Council of India was also approached.
It was only in September 2008 that certain copies were provided by the hospital but all of them were uncertified and jumbled up, which is equivalent to providing no medical records at all. As per order of the Honourable National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and also the rules framed by the Medical Council of India, medical records are to be provided within 72 hours of making the request.
Again in January 2009, another RTI application was filed with CGHS requesting to provide information, duly approved and certified by Chairman, Metro Hospitals & Heart Institute, regarding disease diagnosed, treatment given, prognosis as well as details with respect to registration numbers and qualifications of doctors and staff/nurses and attendants, among other information, which is my right to know.
However, instead of providing information under RTI Act, 2005, the hospital authorities have threatened the RTI applicant stating that "in case such attempts are repeated, we may be constrained to take legal recourse against such applicant at their costs, risks and consequences". The language itself shows the aggressive attitude of the hospital authorities.
The sudden cause of death of my husband is still not known. Moreover, I am yet to receive the certified medical records and other information/details even after a lapse of around 2 years. Please help a widow lady in getting justice.
The govt spends large sums to pay salaries to the doctors,nurses and hospital employees. It buys medicines, machines and spends to set up the infrastructure of the hospitals.
If the patient gets it free,it doesn't mean nobody has paid for it.
It will be better to say that in a private hospital it is the patient who pays for himself whereas in a govt setup it is the taxpayer who pays for him!
The issue today is not govt vs private because neither of them is near the desired mark. The health infrastructure of the country has to be structured so as to be available to all in a sensitive, transparent and affordable way.
Your media campaign is tarnishing the image of the doyens of our medical profession - Dr Ashok Seth, Dr SP Mandal, Escorts Hospital and Gangaram Hospital are embodiment of efficiency and professionalism, not only in India but in the whole world.
We, the medical professionals, do serve our patients with honesty, sincerity and truthfully, to the best of our abilities and in the best intent of the patient.
There is no denying that charges are high due to consumer protection act, defensive practise and if patients do not get desired results they feel cheated. You cannot squarely blame doctors for unforeseen complications which are part and parcel of the treatment process. Please do write about lakhs of complicated cases successfully treated by them.
These negative views affects the morale of 43,000 medical professionals practising in Delhi. You cannot say 'Private-mistreatment' for complications occuring in one in a thousand cases. It will only result in more public unrest, leading to higher costs and more defective practise.
Moreover, there are 40,000 quacks practising in Delhi against which no government action hav been taken, no media writes about them and poor people are left to their mercy. When these patients get serious, they refer them to medical professionals.
Why are you ignoring this bigger nuisance ?
It is good that you are bringing out the truth of these private hospitals of New Delhi.
These private hospitals be it Escorts, SGRH or Apollo have one thing in common. They are here to earn money & not to do social service. Social commitment is by compulsion. Infact, there is no wrong in making money. Big corporates also make money but their achievment is glorified. These hospital also make money by exploting their own employees be it junior doctors, nurses or other support staff. The terms & conditions under which they work is pathetic.
These private hospitals cater to majority of our population and they think that they can do anything. Government has no regulation over these hospitals.
The conditions of junior doctors (DNB trainees), about whom you have mentioned is again pathetic. They make them work for days together and senior doctors have their good & sound sleep. NBE under which DNB doctors come is blind to this misuse of DNB students.
The junior doctors( DNB studemnts) of private hospitals have formed an association "DNB Doctors association" to fight against the atrocities by these big bully corporate hospitals. NBE which is a government body is helping these private hospitals in exploitation of their own DNB students. The association is fight a legal battle against these private hospitals for denying them their dues. The association members ( around 1000 DNB students in various private hospitals of Delhi) are observing a mass casual leave on 26 th August, 2009 for the atrocities on them by these money making hospitals in liason with NBE. On this day all junior doctors in private hospitals will be off their work to create pressure on these private hospitals. You can get more information by logging to our website: www.dnbdoctors.com
I was going through today's HT and saw article on 2nd page about the Private Hospitals. I wanted to discuss with you what we faced with Mata Chanan Devi Hospital, Janak Puri, New Delhi.
It was way back on December 31, 2005 that my father had chest pain. Someone referred Mata Chanan Devi as it was nearby. On Reaching hospital my father was rushed to emergency department where attending doctor Saket Bhardwaj was available to look after the patient. Some tests were taken like ECG, Blood test and BP check. He was given Sorbitrate after which he was lookin fine and started talking to doctor and family. But doctors advised to go for Angiography and shifted patient to ICCU. We all insisted that the hospital is not fully equipped with latest technologies for Cadiac Problems, the patient to be shifted to Apollo or Escorts or some other good Cardiac Centre. But Dr Saket Bhardwaj insisted that hospital is fully equipped with these type of emergencies and he will be absolutely fine after installation of STENT. Then after some 1 half an hour we all waited outside the operation theatre Dr Saket Bhardwaj, came hurriedly out of the operation theatre looking nervous and sweating, talking on the mobile phone with someone.
We asked him what was the status and he replied that the patient is not responding to the STENT, which was installed in the body of the patient. We requested him to allow us to see the patient but he refused. Around 4 pm the doctor declared my father dead and the hospital administration raised a bill of Rs 1,64,184 (Rupees one lakh sixty four thousand one hundred and eighty four) which was highly exorbitant and illegal.
Then later on after going through the death summary and the CD of the patient which was provided to the family after great difficulty and after obtaining opinions from other senior cardiologists, the family of the deponent was informed that wrong treatment was given by hospital as the patient required/needed an open heart surgery, instead of the STENT (Angioplasty) which was installed in the body. It was further revealed that the death Summary Report/Discharge Report was completely fabricated and was made later on as per the requirement of the family to show the face of injured innocence which is highly challengeable as per the opinions of the Senior Cardiac Surgeons and various other Doctors, whereas the patient, now deceased, in his life time was perfectly fine and was walking and talking on his own. As per information and knowledge derived by the doctor on duty should have explained the hurry without settling the patient and pushing ahead with Primary PTCA (How many Primary PTCA'S the Doctor has performed in acute coronary syndrome in this hospital and what was their result).
Dr Saket Bhardwaj, is claiming in order to stabilize the patient he did a Primary PTCA and LAD stenting. It is further submitted that no explanation has been given that which Cardiac Surgeon/Cardiologist was involved whether the Respondent i.e attending doctor, came and examined the patient or not, as per the discussions/observation with doctors, the doctors are saying that Primary PTCA and LAD Stenting which are claiming has not been done as per the CD Rom and this type of procedure cannot be done by a single doctor. It is further observed that the hospital and the doctor was not equipped in dealing with these kind of emergencies, when the patient was admitted the doctor should stabilize the patient and refer the patient to a good Cardiac Centre which he has not done and as per the CD, the wire could not reach to the vessel which doctor is claiming again and again and a good Cardiac Surgeon/Cardiologist when will view the CD (Independent Cardiac Surgeon) he will automatically give his view that Primary PTCA and LAD stenting was not done successfully. So we strongly believe that the callous attitude of the doctors, gross negligence and willful misrepresentation of having full facilities took the life of my father without any reasonable excuse.