We had just started the Fortis Mohali hospital a few months ago in 2002. An old man got admitted for an angiography. He paid the sum of Rs.9000/- after having sold his cow, his main source of earning. He was wheeled into the cath lab and Dr. Kalra realised he needed a primary PTCA to save his life and put 3 stents. The bill came to about 6 lacs, which was a lot of money for most people, still is. The family was in utter shock and they had no means to pay. It was mayhem for them. I saw the commotion and could not hold back. We should never have done the procedure, rather should have sent him to the government hospital. With a heavy heart, I walked up to SMS’s office and argued the case. The fault was ours. Did we tell them that this is what could happen? When we spoke about the treatment, did we explain the costs? He simply listened and asked me if I was in the patients’ place what would I want. I put my head down and replied ‘I would prefer to go home and die respectfully rather than be humiliated for money like this’.
SMS said, go and do what you think is right for the case and then fix the process. We returned the money to him and sent him back healthy with a smile.