Apollo Hospital to return Rs 7.23 lakh treatment cost to family of deceased
KOLKATA: Apollo Gleneagles Hospital decided to return the entire treatment cost of Rs 7.23 lakh to the family of Sanjay Ray following calls from "top officials", the hospital's senior management announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon, hours after former transport minister Madan Mitra had publicly threatened to shut the hospital down if it did not refund the money.
"We have received phone calls from top officials. We will return the entire amount to the family on humanitarian grounds and consider it a discount to a needy patient's family. The decision has been taken not under any duress," the hospital COO Joy Bose said after being persistently questioned by reporters on the amount billed for Sanjay Ray's treatment and the hospital's alleged refusal to allow his family to transfer him to state-run SSKM Hospital till they had paid the entire bill.
Refuting allegations levelled by the patient's family and friends, the hospital officials said there were no discussions with the patient party to either deposit property deed or ornaments or fixed deposit certificate. "We had asked the patient party to issue a check and give an undertaking on a piece of paper that the dues were being paid in this manner. The person from the family who came to settle the bill prior to the patient's discharge voluntarily offered the FD certificate as security which we accepted," the hospital official said.
Suresh Ramasubban, chief of critical care unit, also outlined the treatment to the accident victim to both explain the billed amount and counter the charge of improper treatment. "The patient had severe injuries and after assessment and a CT scan, we found out that he had internal bleeding in the abdominal area. There was a puncture in the liver and a rupture in one of the kidneys. There was also bleeding in the lungs area. Ray had suffered rib fractures and accumulation of fluid in the lungs. On February 16 evening, we conducted Angio Embolization on the patient to stop bleeding from a tear in the kidney and injury to the liver, and put on ventilation due to respiratory distress. He was also administered a lot of antibiotics. He underwent multiple scans later to track the progress," Ramasubban reasoned.
On delay in discharging the patient that could have led to his death within hours of being admitted at SSKM, the doctor said treatment to the patient had not been discontinued at any point and had continued till the patient was put on ventilator in the ITU at SSKM. "We transported the patient in an ambulance that had a ventilator. Two doctors accompanied him to SSKM. Our oxygen supply was used to then transfer the patient from the ambulance to the bed. Our doctors ensured that the ventilation rate in SSKM was in sync with what was being administered," Ramasubban said.
According to him, the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) test on Ray had revealed a 45% predicted mortality in the next 28 days or more than a 50% chance to survive at a medical board formed before his discharge. "We had told the family his condition was stabilizing. The only system that was not responding was the brain. It was so agitated that we had to keep him restrained. It could have been due to nicotine addiction withdrawal. The other organs were okay. Blood pressure, pulse and creatinine levels were good," Ramasubban added.
Like all other hospitals, Apollo Gleneagles is also infamous for overcharging patients so whatever explanations given above by the hospital authorities may be considered as lies to cover their faults. I has a close relative who expired there although she had gone there just for Dialysis.
In one of my earlier blogs I had reported about AMRI, Salt lake from where if I hadn't removed my younger brother to RIITC, Mukandapur, they would have killed him.
AMRI, Gariahat is also infamous for the bad treatment and expiry of Anuradh Saha, wife of Dr. Kunal Saha, founder of PBT. PBT has done very good work in making errant hospitals and doctors pay for their bad treatment by taking up the cases in consumer courts.