What comes in your mind when you hear the name of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital?
Well, you imagine a world class hospital, which is a tertiary-care hospital in Four Bungalows, based in Mumbai. The hospital is named after Kokilaben Ambani, wife of industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, who was the founder of Reliance Industries. This hospital is known for its immaculate services and brand name.
However, this article is about an unexpected and utterly pathetic treatment meted out to a Hindu Nationalist NRI, who moved to India to serve his country and people. This incident has been shared by Jiger Patel on his X handle, and here is what he said.
Yesterday was one of the most humiliating days for me personally. It was eye-opening how a common “aam admi” feels in this country. Manhandled at Kokila Ben hospital, while Mumbai police stayed mute.
His father-in-law was admitted to Kokila Ben Hospital for an emergency procedure. The initial estimate was ₹2,09,000 + consumables(pharmacy and sanitation charges). Upon discharge, the cost was ₹3,57,000 – a 75% increase.
At billing, he was asked for an explanation and received roundabout answers, and then he was told to talk to the assistant doctor of the surgeon. He explained to them his questions, and the hospital staff informed himthat Dr. Mandar Deshpande, the surgeon, would speak to you.
After waiting approximately an hour, Dr. Deshpande told him to come to his office, and when he shared his concerns, Dr. Deshpande initially tried to dissuade the question by saying this surgery usually costs upwards of ₹4.5 lakhs – which can be checked with other patients.
Mr. Jiger patiently informed him that he couldn’t check with other patients and that he wanted to talk about the estimate that was given. He explained that he understood it was an estimate, and he expect the cost to go up 25 to 30 percent, but the 75 percent does not make sense.
All of a sudden, Dr. Deshpande lost it, then banged his table and started yelling, saying you should take it up with billing if you have any questions. Mr. Jiger informed him they were the ones who directed him to contact Dr. Deshpande.
The exchanges became heated, and then Dr. Deshpande called the security. Security asked Mr. Jiger and his wife to sit in a room, and someone from billing would arrive in 10 minutes to explain the invoices.
For more than 45 minutes, no one came, so Mr. Jiger and his wife started to leave, as both were at the hospital since 1:30 pm, going around seeking an explanation, and were just being asked to wait.
Near 5 pm, both were getting restless, and we told them someone needed to explain or we were leaving. The security guards started pushing them inside and told them that they could not leave the hospital.
Upon such a sudden assault, the family felt endangered and requested the police to be called. When Mr. Jiger felt they were not calling the police, he himself called the police to come for assistance.
Initially, when the police constable came, he told them that they needed to give a proper explanation. Then senior security of Kokila Ben Hospital, Mr. Rajesh Savant, came and started using foul language – a complete Bollywood style mavali type with better clothing.
He told the police to stand there and told his staff to register a case of assisting my father-in-law in absconding so that we would not pay the bill.
Countering this vague accusation, Mr. Jiger explained to him if we intended not to pay the bill, why would my wife and I stay and talk to the billing department?
His father-in-law was in pain, and the nurse released him to go; that is why we sent him home and we stayed back. Then he informed his staff to take our phone and luggage so we would not leave or record anything on our phone.
Appalled by this sudden act of hospital authority, Mr. Jiger told the police officer that security guards can not touch them, and take our belonging. Rajesh Savant told the police to just stand and informed other guards to hold Mr. Jiger, so that they can take his phone.
One of the guard tried to hold him down and put his hands in his pocket to take his phone away. By that time, people began to gather, and the security guard let go of him.
Experiencing such a humiliation, Mrs. Patel was in tears and Mr. Jiger Patel sat on a chair while Rajesh Savant kept saying, “This is not Modi’s Gujarat, jai ho Modi,’ here we will make you pay.
At almost 8:30 pm, exhausted, the couple decided to pay after another senior police officer who arrived advised the doctor to explain, he admitted that an error was made in the estimation because he or the front desk didn’t realize their were actually “two surgeries.”
All this happened in the Hospital’s lobby, so the video clips will be there. No wonder most Indians feel defenseless against the “system” and think twice before going to the police for help.
How can a mavali type security guard force a police officer to just be witness and don’t do anything? Manhandling in front of a uniformed Mumbai Police by security guards is just shocking. As per Mr. Jiger, the constable himself was ashamed and felt defenseless.
How can Kokila Ben Hospital have such doctors and staff who cannot have polite conversations. An amicable explanation would have been more than sufficient, but for the ego of the doctor he would not explain the additional 75% increase.
This is indeed a very shameful incident, and this happened with Mr. Jiger Patel, who is known for his selfless service and nationalism. We know Mr. Jiger Patel for years now. He chose to return to India and work for his village and people and in return, he gets such a pathetic treatment.
This is not done at all. The Kokila Ben Hospital, Reliance Group, and even Mumbai Police must tender an unconditional apology to the Patel family.