ALARMING DIAGNOSTIC COSTS. POOR CANNOT AFFORD
Recently I happened to accompany the wife of a DSC Sepoy for emergency medical treatment. The DSC Sepoy is serving in J&K Area and his wife and three children are living in a village in Southern Tamil Nadu. The DSC Sepoy and his families are eligible for free medical treatment in the Army hospitals. But in this case his family could not avail any free army hospital facility as she is living in a non-military area. Also they cannot avail ECHS facility as her husband is serving as DSC.
First for emergency, I took her to a Taluk level government hospital. The patient was having severe pain in the lower abdomen, unable to bear and started running here and there. A lady doctor in the government hospital attended her for emergency and later advised her to take so many diagnostic tests like, ultra sound scan, CT Scan, Xray, ECG etc., etc. for further treatment. The above diagnostic facilities are not available in the government hospital. Finally I took her to a private hospital in a nearby town district head quarters.
The Specialist in the private hospital wrote down a list of diagnostic tests to be taken before starting any treatment. I admitted on the morning of 29.03.09. The following tests were taken.
Complete blood & urine analysis test cost -- -- Rs.1000
Xray on various parts of the body -- -- Rs. 500
Abdomen USG scan -- -- -- -- -- Rs. 500
ECG & Eco cardiograph test -- -- -- -- Rs.1000
Medicine/antibiotics -- -- -- -- -- Rs.1500
Room rent and other hospital bills not included. Still the actual treatment not started.
For the last 3 days I am running here and there to take the above diagnostic tests only. Still the specialist doctor is unable to find out what is the cause of severe pain in the abdomen. Within 3 days the poor sepoy’s family has paid around Rs.10,000/- for diagnostic tests only. But so far no relief from the pain. The visiting specialist doctors do not tell anything except telling to do more and more tests. The patient paid to the hospital bills by pledging her jewels to a pawn broker for urgent purpose.
Now the patient’s pain is more about the expenses than her actual abdomen pain. This is the condition of a serving DSC’s family (separated). Will the MOD and the ECHS authorities do something for a free treatment at the ECHS polyclinics in that area to these type of families.?