A recent consumer case shows how the Discount in Bill and proper documentation absolved the Hospital from allegations of Unfair Trade Practice whereby Hospital allegedly did not allow the patient to leave the till he cleared the alleged Bill amount.
Facts in short :
1. The Complaint underwent balloon-angioplasty at NH MMI Narayana Multi Speciality Hospital at Raipur. There was no Medical Negligence. But the Complaint was filed by the Complainant-Respondent Mr. Baid on the ground that he was not allowed to leave the Hospital till the time he cleared the Hospital Bill of Rs.50,000/-, which otherwise he was not liable to pay and the hospital did not issue any receipts for the same inspite repeated demands.
2. The Hospital filed the present revision petition against the order of State Forum of Chhatisgarh which confirmed the order of District Forum of directing the Hospital to pay Rs.50,000/- alongwith interest @ 9% plus Rs.20,000/- towards mental agony compensation and Rs.2000/- towards Advocate fees. The Hospital was held liable for practicing Unfair Trade Practice of charging in excess and not issuing receipt thereof. That was the moot question before National Commission.
1. After perusing the documents and after hearing of the parties on merits, the National Forum allowed the revision petition filed by the Hospital thereby dismissing the compliant.
2. It was observed by the National Commission that the amount of Rs.50,000/- was properly explained in the Bill and there was no ill-intention on part of Hospital. It was observed that there was complete transparency with regard to amounts received and valid receipts were issued.
3. It was also observed that the Hospital gave a discount of Rs.37,767/- and thus the Hospital cannot be held to be guilty of practicing unfair trade practice. Thus there was grave error committed by lower forums in allowing the compliant.
The court clearly stated.
We may first note that this is not a case of alleged medical negligence. The only short point in this case is a question of fact, whether the disputed sum of Rs.50,000/- was wrongly charged and not billed. The hospital has admitted that the disputed sum of Rs.50,000/- was duly charged. And it is clearly evident that the said sum was duly included in the final bill (which is a computerized print – out). We also note that the total amount (inclusive of the disputed sum of Rs.50,000/-) is reasonably commensurate with the procedure undertaken by the hospital – opposite party on the patient – complainant. We further note that a discount of Rs.37,767.03 was provided by the hospital to the patient (and the same is also reflected in the final bill). If that be so, there can be no question of deficiency in service or unfair trade practice on the part of the hospital. Within the scope of Section 21(b) of the Act 1986, we, thus, find grave error in appreciating the evidence by the two fora below, which, if not remedied, would lead to miscarriage of justice. Hence, the impugned Order dated 18.05.2017 of the State Commission is set aside. Resultantly, the complaint is dismissed.
This is indeed a distinctive case. The Hospital was dragged to the National Commission on the allegation of charging Rs.50,000/- in excess. There were no allegations of Medical Negligence. Yet again, it was the proper documentation and record keeping that helped the Hospital. The hospital also gave discount to the patient and therefore the Commission appreciated the Transferency maintained by the Hospital.
Thanks and Regards,
Adv. Rohit Erande
Case Details :
NH MMI NARAYANA MULTI SPECIALTY HOSPITAL, RAIPUR
CHATTISGARH V/s. CHAMPA LAL BAID
Decided on 24/10/2018, by Dr. S.M. Kantikar , the Presiding Member and Mr. Dinesh Singh, member.
Judgment Link :