After Gurugram-based Fortis Memorial Research Institute charged Rs 16 lakh to treat a 7-year-old girl suffering from dengue, Amit Kumar (27) was charged Rs 2 lakh for sneezing near the hospital. The bill shook Amit to the extent where he had to be taken to the same Fortis Hospital for further treatment for recovery. However, Amit fled the spot before the doctors could high-five each other.
From an eye-witness’s account, Amit was about a kilometre away from the five-star hospital when the incident took place. “While walking, he felt uneasy due to the smog and sneezed. As soon as he sneezed, the Fortis staff circled him and slapped him a bill of Rs 2 lakh,” said a tea-seller, who was present at the scene. The tea-seller saw Amit collapse on seeing the hospital bill and took him to the same hospital for recovery.
When an unconscious Amit realised that he was being taken to Fortis for treatment, he quickly gained consciousness and ran away from the spot. “Had I allowed them to treat me, I would have had to pay a minimum of Rs 5 lakh for each bottle of glucose,” said Amit, who is now considering to start a hospital to pay off his debt.
The authorities at Fortis however cleared the air regarding the shocking amount in the bill. “He sneezed a km away from the hospital, which amounts to Rs 2 lakh. If he had sneezed in the premises, we would have charged him not less than Rs 5 lakh,” said a Fortis doctor, holding the rate card of the hospital.
The doctor also clarified that the high-pricing policy is a step towards building a healthy India, “The high prices will encourage people to take extreme care of themselves and not fall ill. This is exactly the kind of motive our five-star hotel… erm, hospital has.”