Mumbai: The prestigious Bombay Hospital in Mumbai, is now facing a lawsuit on account of charging an additional surcharge of 20% bill to a patient on account of maintenance of the hospital. A notice regarding the same has been sent to the hospital reports Mirror.
The case has been filed by a couple from Worli, Jaishri and Paresh Chaudhary, who are now seeking a compensation of Rs 25 Lakhs for the mental harassment that they claim to have gone through after the hospital “wrongfully” charged 20 % surcharge of Rs 37,694 on the total bill of Rs 2,47,549 as surcharge for the maintenance of the hospital.
The case is that of Jaishri Chaudhary, 52 who was admitted to the hospital for removal of wrist implant. Her total bill including her stay amounted to Rs 2,47,549 during the period, reports Mirror. While this amount was billed to her medical insurance provider, the patient was charged an additional amount of Rs 37,694 as surcharge towards hospital maintenance, security and sanitation. This the couple alleged was done without their prior knowledge, and they only came to know about it when the surgery had already taken place
Speaking with Mumbai Mirror, Paresh said, “We weren’t told about this extra 20-per-cent surcharge before her admission and surgery. I was asked to sign a letter of undertaking a day after her surgery on August 28, which mentioned the surcharge. Despite asking them repeatedly, the hospital authorities failed to explain the reasoning behind the additional surcharge and which government law validated the same.”
As per the policy of their health insurance provider, this surcharge has to be paid by the couple as insurance companies do not pay for non-medical expenses.
“When I argued with the hospital authorities, they said that my wife would not be discharged but would be physically restrained and the security summoned. I had no option but to pay the amount,” Paresh alleged.
Paresh also objected to the surcharge billed for maintenance and sanitation as he said, “This looks like a clear malpractice as the condition of the hospital was not great. The private room that my wife was shifted into after her surgery had water leaking from the air-conditioning machine. Only three nurses attended to at least 22 patients. Such was the treatment we received.”
The Choudharys said that the reason behind them suing the hospital was not to make money but to point out their ‘malpractice’. “We will donate the money to the Tata Institute of Cancer Research if we win it,” said Paresh.
Dr Rajkumar Chaudhuri, MS, Bombay Hospital confirmed the receipt of the notice with Mumbai Mirror.
However, he claimed that patients are generally notified about the surcharge before admission to the hospital.
“The surcharge is purely charged for the maintenance of the hospital. It is the policy of our trust that runs the place. Like all other patients, I am sure the Chaudharys were informed about the surcharge before admission. Our administrator had attended to their queries and explained to them what the surcharge was for. All hospitals charge it but many include it in their medical bills. We did not because it was cash-less medical insurance and the companies do not take care of the surcharge,” Chaudhuri added.