Barking woman hit with £3k hospital bill after Goodmayes hospital staff mistakenly tell her her treatment is free
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 February 2019
A Barking woman is furious after being landed with an almost £3,000 bill for care that King George Hospital staff mistakenly told her was free.
A Barking woman is furious after being landed with an almost £3,000 bill for care the King George Hospital staff mistakenly told her was free.
Diabetes sufferer Manjit Dhillon, from India, was rushed to the Barley Lane A&E ward with a suspected urinary tract infection in December 15 last year.
His daughter, Jasmeet Bhogal of Cecil Avenue, claims he was admitted to a ward and discharged the next day after being told by staff that, being an overseas national, he was entitled to 24 hours care free.
But on January 10 she was shocked to receive a bill for £2,976.
“This to me is day light robbery,” she said. “The NHS website clearly states that charges should be stated upfront.”
Video footage seen by the Recorder appears to shows two hospital staff attempting to reassure Manjit, Jamseet and other family members about care fees.
“The charge is free tonight. Your father will be discharged tomorrow morning, hopefully,” a staff member says.
“And if not, you’re going to have to meet it when you meet it.”
She adds: “You have no fees to pay for tonight.
“100pc no charge.”
Jasmeet told the Recorder she is not against paying charges in general but was unable to make an “informed decision” based on the information given.
She said: “They need to review the charging policy and train their staff appropriately so patients can be advised correctly and can make an informed decision.”
Had she known the costs, she said she may have looked into other options.
The hospital’s interim chief executive Chris Bown wrote to Jasmeet on February 8 rejecting her formal complaint.
He highlighted that her father should have been aware of potential charges he could incur for medical treatment in declaration he had to sign to obtain his visa.
A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We apologise that on this occasion we were not clear with Ms Bhogal about the cost of her father’s care.
“We’ve taken Mrs Bhogal’s feedback on board and we will be ensuring we remind our staff about the Department of Health policies regarding costs which overseas patients are required to pay.”