Mahabubnagar: The Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed Mallika Hospital in Mahabubnagar to pay compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for not furnishing medical bills to a patient.

The case dates back to 27 December 2016 when B. Jeevan, a resident of Nagarkurnool, admitted his mother to Mallika Hospital in Mahabubnagar after she complained of chest pain. The doctor told him the patient had to be treated urgently because she had cardiac problems. Mr. Jeevan paid Rs. 1,50,000 for the treatment.

Three days later, the doctor told Mr. Jeevan that his mother's condition was serious and that he would have to pay Rs. 3 lakh for further treatment. Under pressure from the hospital which refused to continue the treatment if the amount was not paid, the complainant was forced to issue a post-dated cheque. After receiving the cheque, the hospital informed the man that his mother had already died.

Mr. Jeevan requested the hospital to provide details of the cause of death. He further asked for the admission card and test reports for reimbursement of medical bills from the government as the patient was a family pensioner. The test reports, admission card, medical bills, and case sheet were not furnished to the complainant by the hospital doctor and as such he could not avail of the reimbursement facility.

Meanwhile, on 21 February 2017, the hospital issued a legal notice to the complainant saying the cheque for Rs. 3 lakh had bounced. In turn, Mr. Jeevan sent a notice saying the cheque was issued under coercive conditions and it was not a viable debt.

The hospital denied that it had failed to furnish receipts, reports, medical treatment details, or even admission details of the deceased. It further pleaded that it had already issued bills for Rs. 1,50,000 which was paid by the complainant in advance.

Observing the argument, the commission said the hospital had charged Rs. 4,50,000 for treatment and it was under obligation to issue the bills raised against the said amount with full particulars of medicines and description of the treatment. "But there is no evidence placed in the record to show the amount spent by the hospital while providing the treatment and medicines on credit basis for the complainant's mother," observed the commission.

It further added that the crux of the case was that the complainant could not claim reimbursement as the hospital had not provided the required medical bills for Rs. 1,50,000. Neither had it furnished test reports, admission card, discharge sheet, and whatever is necessary for the reimbursement of medical expenses.

The commission asked the hospital to pay compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for the loss sustained by the complainant and Rs. 20,000 towards the legal costs of the proceedings.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with NewsMeter. An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also a contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, consumer, health, human interest and data stories. You can follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitjha__

Next Story