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Hit With a Shocking Hospital Bill? Here’s How You Can Defend Yourself

Few options that a victim of medical negligence can take against an erring health care provider

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In our country, Medical healthcare is in a hideous shape with over 600 million people in India with little or no access to medical health care. The exorbitant cost of healthcare in India is also keeping citizens from getting proper treatment, and most time, from getting any treatment at all.

The private healthcare system in India is strikingly expensive and lacks quality. The non-availability of affordable alternatives force high-out of pocket expenses that only exacerbates the problem.

Healthcare is something for which people are ready to shell out their entire life savings as long as they believe it is curing their loved ones.

Isn’t the illness enough that these private healthcare centres just extort money adding on to the woes of these unfortunate people during turbulent times.

In a recent tragic case, the parents of a 7-year-old Adya, who died of dengue, alleged that they were allowed to take their little daughter’s body only after they paid a bill of Rs. 16 lakh.

Adya was admitted to a prominent private hospital on August 31 with a severe case of dengue and died on September 14. Her parents claim that she was kept on a ventilator for three days even after she had stopped responding to the medical treatment.

The hospital pumped a child with 660 injections in 16 days. They slapped an exorbitant, and apparently arbitrary, cost on the parents for the medical treatment. Medical consumables like 2700 gloves were billed at Rs 17, 142 and blood tests that cost Rs. 2.17 lakh.

In this matter, the issue of concern is the arbitrary cost imposed by the hospital. Here are few options that a victim of medical negligence can take against an erring health care provider:

1. Punitive Action – You can file a criminal complaint against the doctor and the health care provider under the Indian Penal Code on the grounds of causing death by negligence.

2. Compensatory Action – You can also seek monetary compensation by filing a civil suit before a district court or a High court.

For claiming compensation, the best remedy is to file a case before Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum. As per the compensation amount requested by you, a lawsuit can be filed either before the district consumer forum or state consumer forum or national consumer forum.

3. Disciplinary Action – You can also approach the professional bodies like Indian  Medical Council or state medical board seeking disciplinary action against the healthcare provider.

The most effective action in such cases is to file a consumer complaint about the deficiency of services by the healthcare provider.

Deficiency of services means any fault, imperfection or inadequacy in the quality or nature or manner of performance that is required to be maintained by the professional as per the law but the expert fails to do so.

Also, there is a minimal fee involved for filing a consumer complaint.

Naturally, we hope nothing untowards ever happens to our readers. However, should the unfortunate occur, please keep these options in mind.

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Written by LawRato

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LawRato.com is India’s leading lawyer search and legal advice platform.