Goa Airport (& hospital) Scam

#1 Feb 12th, 2005, 19:05
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#1
Loads of scams at Dabolim airport, LONG 'Q' greets you upon arrival & departure, you will be checked 5-10 times, on arrival you may be asked if you have any cigarettes (probably your duty free stuff) these will be taken from you, only use the official porters in brown uniforms, on our departure many people had stuff taken from their hand luggage, trinkets, pens, & all lighters will be taken, there are no smoking signs up as is the case all over Goa, you can smoke, a lot of people had stashed a box of matches on themselves for this purpose. Also saw loads of baksheesh going on.

The worse scam happened to us in the Sankalp nursing home/hospital in Marpusa. We'd both gone down with food poisoning, unfortunately Dave couldn't even keep water down & became severely dehydrated, a doctor was called to our hotel in Anjuna where, after giving us tablets told me to take Dave to the hospital. Once there he was rigged up to a drip & had to stay overnight.Gave receptionist (who was a patient in the next room telephone number of our insurance.
I arrived back next day about 11am to pick him up, he was rigged up to his 6th drip, his arm looked like an angry red balloon, & it was causing him a lot of pain. I was asked to see the receptionist who was a patient in the next room she told me our bill would be 18-20000rps . she also said they'd tried several times to contact insurance company but couldn't get through. To cut a very long story short, we had to pay the doctor baksheesh of 500rps for a phone call to thomas cooks that he never made before they would remove the needle from Daves arm the bill miraculously dropped to 8,100rps which we had to pay before we left Goa otherwise the police would have been called.
To anyone unfortunate enough to end up in this hospital (probably a par for the course in most hospitals in India) none of the following are supplied ( bearing in mind that most of the beds were full of western tourists with food poisoning with no means of cleaning themselves!)take soap, antiseptic, towel, water, food (if you can stomach any) toilet rolls & cash. You will have to buy any tablets prescribed in the little chemists outside.
Back in blighty now, Dave has phlebitus in his arm but on the mend.
&... we still love Goa
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars
Last edited by Dave&Jewel; Feb 14th, 2005 at 15:30..
#2 Feb 12th, 2005, 21:52
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Jewel I was asked to see the receptionist who was a patient in the next room
I've split the previous thread to start a new one.

The whole experience sounds awful, but I must admit that I burst out laughing when I read about the receptionist.
#3 Feb 18th, 2005, 16:23
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#3
Thats a pretty gorrific story/expirience. Id rather just selfmedicate and trust my fellow travellers etc than go to a hospitall. The best thing is to never get really sick.

So do you think that patient really was the receptionist?
Last edited by Ikuru; Feb 26th, 2005 at 21:07..
#4 Feb 19th, 2005, 16:32
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#4
...the files & paperwork she had all over her bed suggested she was, ..could have been 'props' & a mighty scam though?.. ..surely not..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikuru Thats a pretty gorrific story/expirience. Id rather just selfmedicate and trust my fellow travellers etc than go to a hospitall. The best thing is to never get really sick.

So do you think that patient really was the receptionist?

I had a friend in goa, and hes the kind of guy who hates anything spirituall so to say but trust in The almighty man in the white coat, yes the doctor that is... He went to take a needle of something for some spots on his skin, and I was like dont fucking do it, needle didnt look clean neither did a filthy waterbotle that had something to do with the needle.

But he hasnt died yet and this is years ago so I guess it was allright then sort off...
#5 Feb 26th, 2005, 10:21
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#5

re: Goa Airport (& hospital) Scam.

Dear Dave,

I am really concerned that something like this should have happened to you.

Could you please give us a few more details:

1. Name of the hotel you stayed while in Anjuna

2. Name of the doctor who treated you

3. Who recommended this doctor to you

4. Who set up the intravenous drip

5. Who changed the Intravenous drip bag/bottle

6. Whether there was a nurse around to check the drip site

It would be interesting to knw

good wishes

jc
http://www.colaco.net/1/gta.htm
[/FONT]navy
#6 Feb 26th, 2005, 11:05
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#6

Power to the people!

Jcolaco for Attorney General!
#7 Feb 26th, 2005, 17:17
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#7
Hi Jco, will get back to you with info as soon as the paperwork comes back from our insurers, we are still trying to claim for the money we paid to the hospital.

We stayed at the Tamarind hotel, wonderful place, & lovely people. The dr. who visited us there was their resident dr.(will get back to you with his name.) He said Dave had to be admitted to the Sankalp Nursing Home in Mapusa. Here he was treated by another dr. & the hotel dr. came twice during Daves stay. Several nurses were in attendance, they administerd the drips & medicines, all the treatment or requests for payment from the dr. was relayed to us by them..sometimes it seemed to us that they were doing this reluctantly & one was very apologetic.
We will list the details you asked for as soon as possible.
Kind regards,
Dave&Jewel
#8 Feb 26th, 2005, 17:50
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcolaco http://www.colaco.net/1/gta.htm
[/FONT]navy
Lots of Good Advice for visitors to Goa,
#9 Feb 26th, 2005, 19:17
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Jewel We stayed at the Tamarind hotel, wonderful place, & lovely people. The dr. who visited us there was their resident dr.(will get back to you with his name.) He said Dave had to be admitted to the Sankalp Nursing Home in Mapusa. Here he was treated by another dr. & the hotel dr. came twice during Daves stay. Several nurses were in attendance, they administerd the drips & medicines, all the treatment or requests for payment from the dr. was relayed to us by them..sometimes it seemed to us that they were doing this reluctantly & one was very apologetic.
---------------------


Dear Dave and Jewel,

Based upon what you have written thus far i.e.
1. Dave was severely dehydrated
2. Could not keep down any water

Both the number of drips and the cost of hospitalization (even at Rs 20000) would be within acceptable limits. I am sure your health insurer's "bean counter fella" will tell you that.

My concerns are actually with the following:
1. whether the alleged hospital was of the standard to attend to visiting human clients
2. whether there is a nexus between the hotel doctor and the 'hospital'
3. whether the hotel checked out the doctor and the 'hospital'
4. whether the "nurses" were really nurses
AND
5. the part where you "had to pay the doctor 500rps for a phone call to thomas cooks BEFORE they would remove the needle from Dave's arm"

Now #2 is illegal, and #5 is highly unethical.

AND - a "hospital" for humans MUST be fitter than atleast a Vet hospital.

I know that many Goans and atleast one Goan journalist are reading this.

I suggest to Dave and Jewel. Please follow this up with your hotel. I will follow this up with the Medical Council in Goa and with the present Minister of Tourism. Perhaps he is also the Minister of Health. (He is an UK trained surgeon)

Hopefully, the journalist too will pick up this story.

But.... Dave and Jewel - details from you are awaited

jc
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 14th, 2008 at 14:27.. Reason: fixed quote
#10 Feb 26th, 2005, 19:25
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#10
Its quite disturbing to hear about your ordeal ! My advice to you.. the next time you are in goa and seeking medical assitance always go to the Goa Medical College and Hospital , the facilities there are excellent , its FREE and the best of medical care is available. If you ever meet with an accident in Goa and a cellphone is handy call 102 GATES (Goa Accident and Trauma Emergency Services) . Two paramedics will assist u roadside within a few minutes if u give them yr correct location. The service again is FREE and controlled by the Government.

cheers
#11 Feb 28th, 2005, 04:10
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#11
When the dr. came to our room at the hotel he gave both of us several different tablets to take, I had to go & order a taxi so left the room for about 5mins, on returning there was an empty syringe lying next to it's packet on the bed, to this day Dave insists that the dr. didn't give him an injection in the room, so what that was all about I'm not sure.
The hotel owners said he was their hotel dr.who worked at the Sankalp nursing home, both had good reputations, he was also a family friend. Our issues however were mainly with the other dr. at the Sankalp nursing home.
The cost of treatment started out at 18-20000rps which dropped to 8,100rps, we wanted this amount paid via our insurance not upfront out of our holiday cash.
The drips were stopped at our insistance when the last one wouldn't go through properly because Daves arm was very red & swollen the needle had been pumping stuff into his arm on & off for 14hrs , the nurse disappeared leaving the needle in his arm, another one came in, we asked her to remove the needle, she said the dr. wanted 400rps for the phone call, we told her no call was made, off she went...back she came...dr. wants 500rps for the call...this went on for about 15mins, finally Dave asked if we gave her the 500rps would she take the needle out? she nodded, the money was handed over & she removed the needle wiped the skin with cotton wool & put a piece of gauze over it. As I said before she seemed quite embarrassed & apologetic about the whole affair. There were 4 different nurses in attendance, they seemed very professional in their duties but sadly lacking in basic facilities.
We knew that in India everything would be vastly different to our lives back home, but had we known that the hospital didn't supply toilet rolls, soap, towels (at least paper ones) or water for the patients then we would have cheerfully taken some supplies in with us. There wasn't a hint of any use of antiseptic perhaps this is the 'norm' for Goan hospitals, but we weren't to know at the time.
Still haven't received our receipts back from our insurance agent yet so we cannot provide the dr's names till they arrive.

We sincerely hope that our one bad experience doesn't become 'political' we were only relaying our story to fellow travellers who can at least be 'prepared' should they need to stay in the same hospital.
#12 Feb 28th, 2005, 06:32
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#12
Quote:
# 1. < When the dr. came to our room at the hotel... I had to go & order a taxi so left the room for about 5mins.>

2.< on returning there was an empty syringe lying next to it's packet on the bed, to this day Dave insists that the dr. didn't give him an injection in the room, so what that was all about I'm not sure.>

3.<The cost of treatment started out at 18-20000rps which dropped to 8,100rps, we wanted this amount paid via our insurance not upfront out of our holiday cash.>

4.<The drips were stopped at our insistance when the last one wouldn't go through properly because Daves arm was very red & swollen the needle had been pumping stuff into his arm on & off for 14hrs , the nurse disappeared leaving the needle in his arm, another one came in, we asked her to remove the needle, she said the dr. wanted 400rps for the phone call, we told her no call was made, off she went...back she came...dr. wants 500rps for the call...this went on for about 15mins, finally Dave asked if we gave her the 500rps would she take the needle out? she nodded, the money was handed over & she removed the needle wiped the skin with cotton wool & put a piece of gauze over it>

5.< We knew that in India everything would be vastly different to our lives back home, but had we known that the hospital didn't supply toilet rolls, soap, towels (at least paper ones) or water for the patients then we would have cheerfully taken some supplies in with us>

6.<We sincerely hope that our one bad experience doesn't become 'political' we were only relaying our story to fellow travellers who can at least be 'prepared' should they need to stay in the same hospital.>


Dear Dave and Jewel,

I have placed your comments in bullet form to make response easier:

re: #1.
This should have been done by the hotel. What if it was only one of you in the room? If I were you, I'd write to the hotel about it.

re: #2.
If that syringe was used, I'd be very upset to learn that it was kept lying on the bed.

re: #3.
This is a problem which Travel Health insurers will have to work out. There are some good ones, and some not so good ones. And while it is true that some doctors tend to "pad" the bills and rip the insurance companies, the general feeling is that It often takes a mighty long time for doctors and hospitals to get paid by the Insurance Companies.

There is no way any hospital will be able to run on "credit".

Then again, not every doctor (or patient) all over the world is aware WHAT exactly is covered by these companies and what is not.

Until that time, in general, unless it is one of the well known companies - Cash Upfront is likely to be the usual demand one will face. In the West, in a similar situation, a cash deposit & credit card swipe will normally be required - BEFORE - you are even seen by a doctor. ( That I believe is the situation even in the private hospitals in the UK)

The best route is to take the available precautions.

re: # 4.

I am absolutely horrified at this unethical behaviour by these folks.

re: # 5.

Again, I am distressed at the hotel doctor who referred you to that alleged hospital.

re:# 6.

I am glad you did that. I hope readers of this post take note. As far as Goa is concerned, the best medical care you are likely to receive is at the Goa Medical College Hospital in Bambolim. (It is worth the cab run)

The hospital has its shortfalls, it is also not the Hilton nor Guys Hospital, but you will be in better professional hands than at the place you were sent to.

I agree with Goandentist in that regard.

I do not agree that a non-Goa-taxpayer (that includes me) should be treated free at that State hospital, but in all likelihood - you just might be.

Finally, I hope that you or any other reader NEVER EVER have to use hospital facilities anywhere again

BTW: please access the Travel Advisory at http://www.colaco.net/1/gta.htm

would love to get feedback on how to inprove the information

good wishes

jc
Last edited by Dilliwala; Nov 14th, 2008 at 14:29.. Reason: fixed quote

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