33,324 Euros for Dying in the Wrong Hospital

Eduardo Tejada was a 59-year-old Guardia Civil policeman who would put in 50 km a day to keep fit. But something started to not feel right, so he went to see a doctor.

He had sharp pains in his sides and difficulty getting his breath, but the doctor at the private clinic – he held a medical insurance – sent him home, after carrying out some inconclusive tests.

A week later he returned to the clinic and they gave him an asthma inhaler and pain killers and sent him home again – the trouble was that he had pleural effusion; liquid on the lungs.

Eduardo turned up at his post for work the next day in the city of Granada, but he was in a bad way, so he decided that it was time to go to the public hospital, Virgen de las Nieves. The doctors took one look at his medical record from the private clinic and what state he was in and informed him that they were going to hospitalize him.

Besides the pleural effusion he also had dyspnoea; i.e., a chronic shortage of breath, a swollen abdomen and renal insufficiency.

He was dying. Eduardo only lasted a month before succumbing to metastatic cancer.

During this time his family informed the insurance company, Asisa, that he had been hospitalized in the said hospital. It never entered their heads that Asisa would not cover the 33,424-euro bill, but they were wrong. Not only that, but the Ministry of Defence system, Isfas, also refused to honour it. They were informed that the family had to foot the bill, as if it were not enough after the shoddy and faulty diagnosis given by the private clinic.

Incredibly, the insurance company claims that they should have gone back to the clinic instead of a public hospital. Furthermore, the accord between the Ministry of Defence and the private clinic states that a patient can use a 3rd-party if his life is in danger.

The insurance company is not prepared to make any comment until they have investigated further.

Finally, we should add that members of the armed services are not covered by the public health system but fall under military hospitals and approved private insurance companies.

(News: Metropolitan Granada, Andalucia)