Consumer Council: – Illegal payment practices in hospitals

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Patients in hospitals who refused to pay with cash in hospital received an invoice with high fees. This practice is illegal, according to the Consumer Council.

– Hospitals payment practice is unfair for those patients who are forced to pay invoice fee because they did not choose to pay by other methods, says the council’s technical director for public services, Anne Kristin Vie.

The Consumer Council believes that this practice not only affects vulnerable consumers such as the elderly and asylum seekers, but also is illegal.

– When the number of invoices are many, chronically ill could be left with a substantial total fee amount, said Vie.

Although it is becoming increasingly common to pay by card or via internet banking, the law assumes that still should be able to pay by invoice.

– If for safety reasons it is not possible to have a box of cash, must hospitals give patients the ability to pay in a free manner, for example by giving out an invoice without charges, said Vie.

The Consumer Council has sent a letter to Health and Human Services Minister, and asked the Ministry to clean up the illegal practice in hospitals, medical and dental offices.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today