Bengaluru hospital hands over Rs 9.09 lakh estimated bill to COVID-19 suspect

  • 4 weeks   ago
Bengaluru hospital hands over Rs 9.09 lakh estimated bill to COVID-19 suspect
The family of a COVID-19 suspect were in for a shock when Bengaluru's Columbia Asia Hospital quoted an estimated bill of Rs 9.09 lakh for 10 days in ICU with a ventilator. 
The 67-year-old man awaiting a COVID test result went to this hospital as he was gasping for breath. On hearing the estimated bill, the family did not admit him. The break up of the bill includes Rs 1.40 lakh for ventilator charges, Rs 3 lakh for medicines, medical supplies and consumables, Rs 2 lakh for laboratory investigations, Rs 75,000 for room rent. Rs 75,000 professional fee, Rs 58,500 for nursing charges, Rs 35,000 for radiology investigations and physiotherapy, Rs 25,000 equipment and surgical items.
The bill said this is only an estimated amount and the actual costs could be higher in the event of complications, an unanticipated extension of stay and comorbid conditions.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Abdul Basir, a relative of the patient said," My uncle was tested at St. John's Hospital on Sunday and we were awaiting the swab test result. On Monday, he began gasping for breath at 2.30 pm. His oxygen saturation level was low. The hospital told us they have an ICU bed so we rushed him to the emergency there. They said he can be admitted and showed us this estimate bill and we were shocked."
"We discussed the situation as saving his life was also a priority. However, we could not afford this amount. We contacted NGO Mercy Mission who got us in touch with Dr  Taha Mateen of HBS Hospital who asked us to bring him there. By this time his oxygen levels had deteriorated further," Abdul said, further adding," The hospital should not take leverage when emotions are running high. They need to
subsidize the rates for COVID-19 suspect patients as well. In HBS we admitted him for Rs 25,000."
On Tuesday morning, his uncle tested positive for COVID-19. Reacting to the same, Minister for Medical Education Dr. K Sudhakar said that hospitals cannot charge this much and action will be taken against them. Commissioner for Health, Pankaj Kumar Pandey said that District Health Officer Dr. Srinivas will enquire into the matter.
Dr. Chaitanya Pathania, General Manager, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield said in response to this newspaper's query that the elderly patient came to the hospital with fever and respiratory distress.
"He also had comorbidities of Diabetes and Hypertension. He was tentatively diagnosed as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, due to a viral or bacterial cause. We wish to point out that at that stage he was not confirmed COVID nor was he referred from the Government. Any patient in such a situation is given an estimate only. This does not mean that any final bill or costing was provided. All patients once confirmed to be COVID positive are treated in conformity with the government rules and regulations which Columbia Asia commits to following with no exception," Dr. Chaitanya said.

Source: Indian Express