Plagued with Fraud

While we all know corruption is deeply rooted in India, Healthcare is one of the main sectors that is plagued with this fraud. A recent conversation with a family friend turns to be a learning lesson for lifetime. As we discuss about the hospitals and medical treatment procedures in India, he stated his experience with one of the most reputed hospitals of India. The story goes like this,

‘When my wife was spotted with cancer, we barely had the knowledge about the same. Since my children stay abroad, it was just me, running around, taking care of everything possible. My children did visit us from time to time. But as we all know, the complete procedure of cancer treatment requires a lot of time, patience, perseverance and above all asking the right and necessary questions to the doctor. Each doctor’s visit would never halt with the checkup. A series of tests in the name of ‘safe side or precautionary procedure’ would be prescribed. As we had very less awareness about the same, we acted as per the prescriptions. A monthly ritual of spending easily an amount of Rs 25000 to Rs 30000, above the cost of the medicines. It’s been three years and still the treatment is going on. We have already spent approximately around ten to twelve lakhs. We don’t know how much of the money is tricked from us in the name of treatment. We don’t know how much longer we are going to get duped. At this stage we can’t even change the doctor and start from scratch with another doctor. Just hoping for my wife’s speedy recovery and full stop to the visit to hospitals’.

My mother was a breast cancer fighter. She is a cancer crusader in herself. Hence, I could relate to him so closely and exactly sense what he would have gone through. I am not going to talk about the list of medical scams in India or their statistics. I am not going to blame anybody. A lot has been talked, debated and unresolved about the same. Hence there is no point in pinpointing anybody for this incurable disease of medical corruption.

In India, ‘Hospitals are synonymous to Temples and Doctors to the God’. People come here with the hope of living a life again and get healed from all the pain. But what we see in reality, is definitely contradicting. Because of the lack of awareness and transparency, people blindly follow what is prescribed and the hospitals and doctors make the maximum benefit of the same. Don’t know who is the main culprit – the hospital management, the doctors or the patient and their family. May be all.

Even for a simple fever or cold, of normal day to day life, the smallest of the smallest treatment ends up to expensive procedure. People are always in constant fear of how much bills they need to pay, once they enter the campus of hospitals, with zero assurance of getting cure. Far beyond the patient’s suffering, a constant anxiety of mandatory financial expenses slays the patient’s family. The emotional trauma is incomprehensible.

All doctors or hospitals are not bad. Thanks and gratitude to the doctors, for their transparency and clarity of their thoughts, who put their best foot forward for my mother’s cancer treatment. However, it was certainly a costly procedure. By hook or by crook, we managed the financial expenditure.

But what would people do, if there was no clarity, and there was a constant prerequisite to pay the bills. Such unaccounted high costs clasps the hands of the lower class and below poverty line segment of people from embracing such medical treatments and get healed from their pain. The hospitals have to start acting as socially responsible organizations. They ought to place themselves in the patient’s and their family’s position, before preying them for any kind of unsolicited demands.

What was once started as a social service wave, is now a humongous commercial and corrupted sector, ruining the lives of millions of people. From birth to death, hospitals are an integral part of our life and they suck our blood in all senses. The death of The Hippocratic Oath of Doctors acquires an intermittent illness with such medical rip-offs.

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