Cal resident recounts incompetence of India hospital

Darshana Tandon Paid with her life
Darshana Tandon
Paid with her life

FREMONT, CA: Impressed by stories of medical technology in India being even better than in the US, Varun Tandon of Torrance, California, recently took his mother to India for surgery of stomach cancer.
He had such a bad experience in Fortis Hospital of Delhi that he wants to share it with readers of India Post to warn them to beware of the ruthless business that medical tourism has become. Needless to say that his mother died after the surgery. “The state of India’s hospitals is more in the realm of horror and unimaginable incompetence,” he claims.
Varun has sent a detailed account about the happenings in Fortis hospital, complete with documents containing proof of penicillin administration, to
India Post. Here he gives a short chronology of events:
“Jan 16th: My mom, Darshana Tandon at, age 63, was diagnosed with cancer of stomach (Stage II local area only – 10 year or more life expectancy) while on a visit to New Delhi.
Jan 19th: Partial Stomach surgery done at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi
Jan 21st: I reached India and moved in with my mom in the hospital room.
Jan 26th: Dr. Pradeep Jain (Surgeon/Director at Fortis) prescribed Penicillin by mistake. Hospital pharmacy filled in the prescription without catching the allergy conflict in the system. Nurses then administered Penicillin thru Central IV to my mom. Mom had a severe reaction that night.
Jan 27th: Severe reaction led to Anaphylaxis which lead to Septic shock later.
Jan 28th: Mom was put on ventilator. Organs stopped working one after another in next 60 hours.
Jan 31st – 12:40 AM: Mom passed away with multiple organ failure.”
Giving details, Varun Tandon says, “My dad, two brothers, sisters-in-law and grandkids owe their life in the US to my mom, who was the force behind immigration to USA 19 years ago. This is not just my story, but of probably thousands of people each day at Indian hospitals. Fortis Healthcare is a chain 24 locations of so called “5-star” hospitals.
The owner of Ranbaxy Laboratories, top Indian pharmaceuticals company started Fortis brand of hospitals. From what I have seen, the hospitals in India may be huge, the area within the hospital boundary may be clean, but that’s the only progress made at Indian hospitals. I spent 10 days/nights at the Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
“The hospitals lack simple checks for allergies before administering medicines. After my mom was given Penicillin in error, the doctors tried to hide it, instead of treating it. Dr Pradeep Jain, knowing the source of infection, STILL performed a painful surgery to find the “source” of infection.
“A mistake is forgivable, but unethical behavior with attempts to “milk money” and doing unnecessary painful surgeries later to cover up the mistake is unforgivable. Unfortunately, I could not save my mom, but I am writing this hoping to warn people in the US about the reality of hospitals in India.
“From what I learned in a conversation with Gardiner Harris from NYTimes, he confided that the top doctors/directors at Indian hospitals are hired on the basis of how much “money/volume” they can bring in. Doctors name/fame carries monetary value.
After talking to over 50 people in Delhi about this, it seems, unethical behavior of doctors is commonplace at Indian hospitals. Almost everyone in the medical industry in India seems to have a “Cut” or a “kickback”. From what I learned, patients are referred to other doctors and labs for tests based on the commission to the doctor rather than welfare of the patient. In this culture of greed and corruption, surgeries are performed where they are not needed. Other times medicine is prescribed or lab tests are performed where they are not needed.
“After my mom was put on ventilator, Dr Pradeep Jain lied to us to keep my mom there for the longest period of time. It was an attempt to milk money where the daily cost was $3000 per day at that time. This may sound something from a horror show, but in my opinion sadly, this is a normal practice in India. Talk to people in India and they will tell you that they have lost faith in their doctors.
“Nurses are thought of and treated as “Ullu” as explained to me by one of the doctors at Fortis. They usually get trained “on the job”. Nurses are the ones who actually take care of the patient day in and day out, that is a huge gaping hole in the knowledge/talent/work pool at the hospitals.
“If people in India can’t even obey simple traffic light rules, how can we expect the medical field to be any better. While the hospital may be clean, you will hardly find anyone using hand sanitizer. The doctors skipped and refused using sanitizer even when I asked them to. Most common cause of death in India from a surgery is “infections”.
“If you are in India or any other 3rd world country for that matter, and (unfortunately) in need of hospital stay, just leave as soon as you can. Fly back to the US immediately in that situation, it will probably save you a lot of pain and suffering. Even if you are in pain, simply leave, it’s not worth staying there and trying your luck.
“People will argue that mistakes happen in the US as well. They do happen, but the percentage of mistakes here is far less and uncommon. People in the US learn from their mistakes and improve. In my opinion, a high percentage of doctors in India make use of that mistake to bill more money for their 5-star hospital. After all, a doctor’s “package” includes a “cut” in the sales they bring into the hospital.
“I am no longer a “proud Indian” because of its broken justice system. I have proof of wrongdoing in complete medical records, but can’t take Fortis Hospital and Dr Pradeep Jain to court. The Indian law sides with doctors and has little to no protection for patients.
“Then, how will the doctors and hospitals in India learn? who will fix this?
“I don’t have an answer to it except for something one of the doctors (almost mockingly) told me. This was when my mom was shaking uncontrollably due to allergic reaction from penicillin, one of the doctor at Fortis said casually, “Thoda relax karo yaar. Tum bhagwan par bhi kuch chod do. Itni chinta mat karo.” Translation: “Just relax my friend. Leave some things to God. Don’t worry so much”.
Varun Tandon has filed complaints with Medical Council of Delhi and the Medical Council of India.
He is also reaching out to Fortis directly to demand answers.

India Post News Service 

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