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Human touch is Code of Conduct for Hospitals: Delhi Consumer forum directing Apollo to pay Rs 10 Lakh compensation

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Human touch is necessary; that is their code of conduct; that is their duty and that is what is required to be implemented– Delhi Consumer forum on Inderprastha Apollo Hospitals case

New Delhi: Human touch is “necessary” and the “duty” of hospitals, the Delhi State Consumer Commission has said while directing Apollo Hospital to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the father of a 24-year old woman who died because of its negligence in 2007. The commission said that hospitals are “required to implement” this human touch in their day-to-day functioning.

It made the observation while directing the Inderprastha Apollo Hospitals to pay the compensation to Delhi resident, Raj Karan Singh, for the suffering, mental pain and agony caused by the hospital’s negligence.

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The commission said the compensation may bring about a “qualitative change” in the attitude of hospitals for providing service to “humans as humans”.

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“This may serve the purpose of bringing about a qualitative change in the attitude of the hospitals for providing service to the human beings as human beings. Human touch is necessary; that is their code of conduct; that is their duty and that is what is required to be implemented,” said the commission’s member Anil Shrivastav in a recent order.

According to the complaint filed by Singh, his daughter was undergoing dialysis in the hospital in 2005 and due to use of an unhygienic dilator, her health deteriorated leading to coma.

It said that after slipping into coma, Singh’s daughter was in the ICU for 47 days and even there she underwent repeated negligence and recklessness of the hospital staff and doctors, finally leading to her death in 2007.

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Singh being unsatisfied of the compensation of Rs 1 lakh granted by the district forum in 2012, had challenged it in the state commission.

The commission, which called the district forum’s compensation as “too meagre”, modified the award amount keeping in mind the age of the victim and the mental pain and agony suffered by her family.

“The patient was a 24 year old female child. Her end was owing to the negligence of the respondent hospital (Apollo). She had before her entire life and career.

“Further the complainant (Singh) and his family were subjected to mental agony due to the departure of the patient. These factors would clearly show that the compensation awarded is too meagre for the suffering caused to the complainant,” the commission said.


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Source: PTI

2 comment(s) on Human touch is Code of Conduct for Hospitals: Delhi Consumer forum directing Apollo to pay Rs 10 Lakh compensation

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  1. It is neither shocking nor surprising that the flagship hospital of the Apollo group is in the eye of the storm.
    The group is always in the news for all the wrong reasons weather it a kidney transplant racket,a rape incident in Gandhi nagar Apollo or a Consultant assaulting a young lady patient in Apollo hospital Mysore and yet continues in service as he is the top earning Consultant of the hospital.
    A senior consultant of Apollo hospital Mysore had written a open letter to Dr.P.C.Reddy highlighting the various unethical and illegal activities in Apollo hospital Mysore for which he was summarily dismissed.
    I am sure after reading the letter we wonder weather the Reddy family is aware of Gandhi \’s seven deadly sins the first is BUSINESS WITH ETHICS.
    Another senior Consultant has filed a criminal complaint against the local manager of Apollo Mysore for all the illegal activities in the hospital and the Bangalore high court has adjudicated in favour of the Consultant clearly stating that there are sufficient evidence to prosecute the GM of the hospital Mr.NG Bharateesh Reddy.
    The full letter of the doctor is enclosed.

    Open letter to AHEL Chairman Shri Dr Pratap Reddy
    Sir, I would like to introduce myself as Dr Sree Harsha C K, having MBBS, MS (Ortho), DNB (Ortho), FNB (Spine Surgery) qualification and working at Apollo BGS Hospital, Mysore. Under normal circumstances I would have included my designation and let go my qualifications. But thanks to the affairs at the hospital I don’t know what I am. You may be wondering why I have resorted to writing an open letter to you? What better option do I have when my concerns addressed to the CEO Bangalore, Group Compliance Committee and honorable yourself are not even acknowledged?
    Main reasons of me writing this open letter are:
    1. To remind all the people at various levels of Apollo Management that not acknowledging an employee’s concerns will not magically solve the problem
    2. To make sure that other consultants do not suffer the same problems which I have been suffering due to the all elusive “Apollo policy”
    I will not get into details of my problems. I am sure you will be able to get all the details by searching your email inbox. I would like to broadly raise some general questions which have always baffled consultants working for AHEL and also at some point bring about specific points which have been bothering me.
    Apollo policy:
    Sir what is this Apollo policy? Whenever consultants have any grievances or some new rule is made against interests of consultants or sometimes to patients why is it always as per Apollo Policy? Why doesn’t Apollo policy be patient or doctor friendly? Here are some mysterious ways Apollo policy works:
    1. When the percentage cut from consultants hard earned salary jumps from 10% to 15% without any notice, it is Apollo policy at work. When the OT charges are raised from 100% (which is higher than many Apollo hospitals) to 125% of surgeon fees there is no policy, it is local need. No questions to be asked in both scenarios. Why should people from a tier two city who come in search of good quality health care have to ripped off.
    2. As per “Apollo Policy” a specialist should have certain amount of experience before being elevated to consultant’s post. Where is the policy when a postgraduate student who just passed exams becomes consultant immediately and is pitted against his own teachers? Is it policy or personal whim of hospital managers?
    3. As per “Apollo Policy” no admissions and surgeries are performed by registrars in the consultant’s absence. But the policy becomes hazy for some consultants who can have registrars as proxy for doing all the work in the consultant’s absence for days.
    4. When a consultant is on salary two or three consultation visits are automatically charged to the patient irrespective of consultant seeing them. Whereas when a consultant is on fee for service he is denied visit charges if he forgets to sign in the billing sheet every time he sees the patient.

    I am afraid sir, the “Apollo Policy” is a shield which is used by the managers to cover their wrong decisions, unfair practices so that no questions are asked. If there is such policy and if it is fair, why not put it in black and white so that everybody knows what to do. Like a true corporate why not make policies known to everyone.
    Group practice:
    At one time the manager of our hospitals was pushing every one for group practice saying that it was your wish that group practice should be the norm in all departments. What went wrong sir? Now nobody is talking about it. Did you find any faults in the conception of group practice? What about people who were pushed into group practice with unfair conditions?

    Sir, I fail to understand why two consultants in the same department are treated differently. Why one consultant has a better stationary, better visibility, better marketing, better equipment. Unfortunately, the better treatment is not because they are doing better work, it’s only because they are favorite. So much so, there are different referral fees paid when cases are referred to different consultants. It has reached to a level that even ambulance drivers are paid differently for getting patients to different consultants. Why such attitude? Being best and biggest health care provider why not put an end to such practice sir. Why not create working condition with equal opportunities to all? Why create an atmosphere wherein being close to the manager becomes a ladder to success and not the quality of work.
    If consultant A sees “x” patients in OPD and consultant B sees “2x” patients in OPD, common sense says that consultant B should be operating more cases. But, thanks to the invisible hands, consultant B operates a fraction of consultant A because the manager does not like consultant B and will redirect patients to his favorite by bringing about discriminative “policies”. why? Why does a self-respecting doctor, who has spent a major portion of his life learning and practicing medicine has to become a puppet for the managers to become successful?

    All road leads to profit:
    Sir, we all understand that the AHEL is a company run for profits while providing safe and quality health care. Unfortunately, the focus for local managers is only on profit (guess because that is the only thing their higher up is interested as well, and, the only road to their career growth) and have gross disregard to ethics of medical care. Known serial offenders are taken on board because they can bring patients. When they commit same offence the “big Guys” come to broker compromise with the victim and the offender gets to continue working. Why? Because hospital has invested too much on him. Is it not the job of manager to keep the hospital safe from predators? Does revenue have more importance than moral values?
    Why one anesthetist (because he is on fixed salary) is allowed to handle 2 or 3 Operating theaters simultaneously when there are other anesthetists available? Is it not gross violation of patient safety? Will it not become a criminal negligence if it is allowed to continue despite repeated pleas?
    Apollo Hospitals, termed as the first corporate hospital group has failed to implement fair and transparent policies for patients and employees. Rather it has evolved as a loose group of franchise like operations which formulate their own rules to suit the management and driven only with the motto of achieving profits. I am afraid this is the case with almost all \”corporate\” hospitals.

    Opaque finances:
    It has always been our concern that the patient bills are not transparent and patients are invariably unhappy about the billing process in our hospital. Now consultants are also in the same position where in lakhs of rupees go missing from consultant’s earnings and miraculously appear when complained. What pride should we take in being employed by the biggest and best hospital chain when even consultants do not trust the employer? Apart from thinking about patient care now we have think about ways of tracking our earnings every day? Any questions asked and you are bad guy and money minded. Will such thing happen in any other respectable corporate industry?

    Second class treatment for tier two city:
    Sir, my city may be a tier two city, but that does not mean that all second hand equipment are dumped into this hospital. When you are charging a premium why do the doctors and patient have to make good with used equipment. Why raising objection to such practices make you the bad guy?

    Hospital first or consultant first:
    Sir, we have been frequently reminded (sometimes sarcastically and sometimes painfully) that the Apollo brand does not dependent on doctors or rather it’s the other way round and patients come for Apollo brand. Then I fail to understand why the clamor to recruit the top performing doctors in the city? why the edict to managers to recruit at least one of the top 5 consultants in the city? Why not make your own consultant achieve number one position?

    Hospitals managed by people who do not understand medicine:
    What can be expected from a manager who says that patients in ICU get overburdened in first three days of admission due to extensive investigation and hence asks investigations be spread out over a week. Or, when he suggests to stop long surgeries in the middle to see outpatients. It may be difficult to find a doctor with requisite managerial skill but I am sure you can find managers with minimal medical knowledge.

    Lack of redressal system for consultant doctors:
    Before writing this letter I have exhausted following options
    1. Two emails to you – none acknowledged
    2. Two emails and a registered post to group compliance committee-none acknowledged
    3. One email and one registered post to audit committee – none acknowledged
    4. Two emails and a registered post to CEO, Bangalore – none acknowledged. But responded after a legal notice was served. (denied receiving the mail, however)
    This shows the lack of willingness of the management in sorting out the grievances of doctors who form the back bone of the system. I am not sure if it is apathy or reluctance of higher management in getting involved in local matters. Or, is it that as long as you give us profit (however possible) nothing else matters is the message given to local management. There is gross disregard for the law of land in providing statutory protective provisions to the employees. Here sir, I would quote from “Spiderman”! (a cliché though) – with great power comes great responsibilities.

    Using of intimidatory practices to silence any dissent. It is a fairly established policy that consultants who dissent are made to resign or are pushed to second grade level. My experience with the local management and the next higher authority has been the same. Senior management people want to have meeting without any record so that they can intimidate and get away. The first question I am asked is, are you not interested in working this hospital? If you find conditions are not good for you why don’t you leave? No honest attempts are made to address the issues raised. Is it not possible to try to understand that if a person who has worked for close to a decade has grievances, an attempt should be made to even understand it?

    What next?
    Unfortunately, as doctors we are programmed to be timid and the constant uncertainty of future makes us compromise with the situation. The managers exploit it for their benefit.
    I am sure many of my colleagues would have gone through the same situation. By writing this open letter I would like to encourage all the doctors who have suffered by discriminatory and intimidatory process at Apollo Hospitals group to stand up and fight. As citizens of this country we enjoy rights which fortunately transcend all barriers. If we are not able to get redressal from within the system, the law of the land is always there. I also encourage my colleagues to communicate among each other to share experiences and to tackle unfair practices. I am continuing to be part of Apollo Hospital (though I am unaware in what capacity!) and I can share my experiences to show that all dissents should not end up with consultant leaving the hospital.

    Disclaimer: This mail has been written with the intention of creating awareness among Apollo Hospital Group consultant doctors. You have received this mail because you have been working for Apollo Hospitals group. If the recipient of this mail is no more associated with Apollo Hospital, you have to ignore this mail. This mail is intended to be read by the recipient only and should not be forwarded to anyone. Reproducing this mail in entirety or in part in any print, audio visual and social media without the explicit permission of the author is prohibited. Any legal liabilities arising out of such act will be the responsibility of person who chooses to do so.

    Dr Sree Harsha C.K MS(orth), DNB(orth), FNB(Spine surgery)
    Consultant Spine and Orthopedic surgeon
    Apollo BGS Hospitals
    Mysore, Karnataka
    Phone – +91 9900173040

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  2. user
    Nishad Chitnis July 27, 2019, 9:19 am

    But in India, doctors don\’t have rights. We are daily wage laborers who are blamed for all ills of society and expected to correct all problems of the human race.