Friday, September 25, 2009

The costs of 'dressing'!

Going to the Aga Khan Hospital's Casualty Dept., for a change of dressing for a wound or operation site can cost nothing less than 750/- and most times it's much more than that as I found out to my detriment this afternoon.

As soon as one reports at the reception, you're given a number for when the cashier will call it out. At this point, you're required to pay a standard charge of 750/- for which the receipt says 'dressing-casualty'.

After this, one is required to wait till your name is called out. That's what happened with me just a few hours ago. The only reason I needed to go for this was because of a surgery I'd gone through yesterday barely 24 hours ago and the tapes that had been put on the site had got wet and needed replacing.

When my name was called out I followed the male nurse(?), into the cubicle for this purpose. There on the side table was a closed brown paper bag which I was to discover held the accoutrements for cleaning wounds, operation sites, etc. The nurse opened this bag even before looking at what I required and what a waste it turned out to be, because the only thing required to be done in my case was to replace that wet tape. He realized this immediately that I showed him my operation site, but, since he'd opened the bag, he put a little saline fluid into a crucible, added some Betadine(?) and proceeded to dip some wool held with forceps into this liquid and wiped the area after removing the tape.Then, he disappeared for a few minutes and came back with the replacement tapes. He said that there was no need to do anything else as everything was fine (and no wonder since it is hardly 24 hours since my operation even as I write this), and nothing else needed to be done.

The whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes and I was ready to go, when, I was stopped by the nurse and told to pay further for the tapes that he had used. This was a complete surprise and nobody had warned me that I was going to be making further payments other than the one I'd already made in the name of 'dressing'. So, I ended up paying a further 300/- for this and the receipt reads 'opsite post operative'. What is the difference between that and 'dressing'?

And if they were going to charge me for this, why charge me 750/-, earlier? Or vice versa? I got very angry at this additional charge and told the girl there that I thought of this as a complete rip off. She in turn, hid behind the statement that this was standard procedure. Whatever that means? I've discovered that these two words 'standard procedures' are used to hide a multitude of unanswerable questions that people like me ask of officialdom. In fact, they will keep repeating this statement over and over again like stuck records!

Before, I started writing this email (and for whose email addresses I had to search the Internet), I decided to ring the casualty dept of the hospital and ask to speak to the person in charge. When I eventually managed to talk to her, she defended their practices and there was not a trace of remorse from her that I had ended paying over a 1000/- for a simple change of tapes. I also told her that I was writing this email and told me to go ahead which is what I'm doing.

So, everybody BEWARE, of these hidden costs of 'dressing' your wounds or 'opsite post operative'. Better make sure before you pay anything or you might get fleeced. In which case, you'd better have lots of money on you to pay for your oversight.

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