Hospital booked for not providing treatment bill

  • Posted on: September 28, 2023

Hospitals and doctors are legally mandated to provide medical / treatment documents and invoices / bills within seventy-two hours of request from patients / attendants. While this is common knowledge, a hospital was found on the wrong side of the law for not adhering to it.

A patient was admitted to the hospital. He was infected with COVID. Unfortunately, he died after six days. His family requested complete medical treatment documents, along with invoices, for insurance claim. The hospital did not provide complete set of bills.

The family sued the hospital. District Consumer Commission held the hospital negligent. The order was upheld by the State Consumer Commission and National Consumer Commission when it was challenged in the two Courts respectively.

The National Consumer Commission upheld District Consumer Commission’s ruling, which had observed that:

“The patient had a health insurance policy. The insurance broker has submitted that that he had filled up claim form but in absence of necessary documents, it could not be submitted to the insurance company. There was no reason to disbelieve an independent witness. According to Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, the hospital was obligated to provide all documents relating to treatment within seventy-two hours of demand. Although the hospital had produced all documents while challenging the order, they were not supplied within stipulated time to patient’s family”. 

The hospital was held negligent and ordered to pay insured sum as compensation. It was a mistake that it’d perhaps not want to make again. 

Source : Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 21st August, 2023.