A Consumer Court in Mumbai today, December 30, 2019 has ordered the Asian Heart Hospital in the Bandra Kurla Complex to pay Rs. 1.33 lakhs’ compensation to Vinay Bhasin who was overcharged due to some confusion with the staff of the hospital.
The order was given by a division bench of the court comprising of Shubhda Talunkar, president of the consumer forum and Shraddha Jalnapurkar, member. They were hearing a plea filed by Vinay Bhasin whose father was undergoing treatment at the Asian Heart for clogged arteries. The father underwent a Coronary Arteries Bypass Graph (CABG) surgery after going through an angiography (x-ray test that uses imaging to view human body’s blood vessels) in 2015. Bhasin was asked to pay Rs. 25,100 for the angiography and Rs. 6,79,100 for the CABG Surgery. Later he was asked to pay Rs. 6,93,000 for the surgery which he did. When the CABG surgery of Bhasin’s father was going on he was asked to pay an extra amount of Rs. 1.50 lakhs since his father was categorised as a “high risk” patient.
After the surgery, Bhasin was given a total bill of Rs. 9.67 lakhs which he refused to pay failing which the hospital refused to discharge his father. He made the payment under compulsion. Thereafter, Bhasin wrote several letters to the hospital asking them to explain the break-up of the total fees charged. The management of the hospital maintained that some confusion had transpired between the hospital staff and the customer. The hospital showed its brochure as proof which detailed that in cases of high risk patients the hospital is allowed is charge extra fees but while calculating Bhasin’s fees the court agreed that they wrongfully charged Rs. 63,000 extra from the patient. Keeping the hospital’s mistake in mind, the court held that there indeed was some sort of confusion between Bhasin and Asian Heart’s staff. The court further ordered Asian Heart to pay the extra amount of Rs. 63,000 charged, back to Bhasin, an additional 50,000 INR for mental agony and Rs. 20,000 towards litigation costs totalling to Rs. 1.33 lakhs in compensation to the customer. The judgment brought in some embarrassment to the well-known hospital thereby damaging its reputation and goodwill in the eyes of the consumers.