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Charity vs Clarity: When Hospitals Rule & Patients Defy!

Debby Rai for BeyondHeadlines

Correspondent to Alshifa Multispecialty Hospital’s Receptionist: Janab, khatna ka kitna kharcha hoga?

Receptionist: 2000 rupaye

Correspondent: Lekin janab bahar toh 500 rupaye main hota hai

Receptionist: Toh phir aap bahar se hee karwa lein

Residents of Jamia Nagar (Okhla, Delhi), are since some time vocalising about their ill-experience with Alshifa Multispecialty Hospital located in the same area. Apart from the exorbitant treatment charges (despite being run on charity and poor-friendly), the patients also allege medical negligence on the part of the hospital.

“I came from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) especially to get the stones removed from my renal pelvis in this hospital. Despite my discharge from the hospital post surgery, the pain continued”, alleged Jauwad Ahmed.

He added that the hospital staff refused to acknowledge his grievances saying that operation was conducted by the visiting doctor of some other hospital (despite the claim on their website to be a Multi Speciality Hospital with a team of competent doctors) and he should go and meet him for the redressal of his grievances rather than doing the rounds of hospital.

Jauwad’s lawyer Sher Afgon, who has now sent a legal notice to the hospital management claiming compensation for the damages, alleged that post the stone-removing surgery, his client was shocked to discover two small calculi in the upper and lower pole in the right kidney during an Ultrasound in KSA.

Similarly, Mudassir, a victim of road accident too shared his experience with the hospital as a bitter one. He alleged to have developed serious physical complications due to the inexperienced doctors and unreliable diagnosis by the newly purchased lab equipments especially CT Scan and X-Ray machine.

Backing the allegation, another patient Aisha said, “I approached the hospital laboratory for some check-ups advised by an outside doctor. But the lab in-charge misread it and guessed it as a name of some injection, which otherwise turned out to be a Holter ECG.” She also recollected that once, after vomiting for about 14 times, she was prescribed seven different tablets and capsules while she was unable to consume even a single drop of water.

Social Activist S. Abu Bakr, who hails from the same area and often comes across such cases, alleged that despite the hospital’s mission to help the deprived and depressed class, especially those identified by Justice Sachchar Committee, there is no transparency and the patients are not treated humanely.

“This hospital is built on a charity land apart from an initial amount of Rs 10 Crore and 58 lakhs by public/community charity, yet the financially weak strata is not catered to free of cost or at subsidised rates, as it should be”, Abu Bakr alleged.

When contacted Zafar, Director Al Shifa Hospital, he said that the management does not accept the allegations levied by Jauwad Ahmed, and they too have taken a legal route to reply. He although refused to share a copy of the legal letter terming it as not required. He also did not agree with the hospital being run on public funds, and rather mentioned a couple of donors who hail from South India and settled in Arab countries.

We reproduce below the Hospital’s commitment in its website:

OUR COMMITMENT
Alshifa Multispecialty Hospital is committed to provide state of the Art treatment to poor and needy at affordable rates. Our ‘Motto’ is treatment to all at affordable cost even those who claim to have no money will be treated free. Our clientele is generally back ward and poor minority community people most of them belonging to BPL category.

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