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Fortis case: Panel indicts hospital, to be booked for negligence

December 06, 2017 23:42 IST

A panel probing the allegations of overcharging against Gurugram's Fortis hospital found 'several irregularities' including protocols not being followed in a case related to the death of a 7-year-old girl who died of dengue.

Following the indictment by the panel, Haryana Health minister Anil Vij said a first information report will be lodged against the private hospital while the licence of its blood bank will be cancelled.


In addition, the Haryana Urban Development Authority will be asked to explore the possibilities for cancellation of lease of land given to the hospital, he said.

Father accuses hospital officials of offering bribe

Hours after the Haryana government probe panel submitted its report, the seven-year-old girl's father has accused senior officials of the Fortis group of attempting to bribe him.

"Senior members of Fortis met me, offered me a cheque worth Rs 10,37,889 refunding the entire amount," Jayant Singh, father of the deceased girl, told ANI.

"They also said they will be offering me Rs 25 lakh cash on top of this, said that I will have to sign, enter into a legal agreement assuring to stop my social media campaign, or going to court and taking legal action against them," Singh said.

"The hospital made a hefty profit on medicines given, which works out to 108 per cent, and for some consumables it is as high as 1,737 per cent," he alleged, pointing out that the bill for Adya Singh's treatment shot up to Rs 15 lakh.

"Put in simple words, it is not a death, it is a murder," Vij alleged at a crowded press conference at his office in Chandigarh.

The Fortis group, meanwhile, said that all documents, statements and details required by the probe team of the Haryana government were provided.

A statement released by the group added that they were 'yet to receive a copy of the report'.

At the press conference, Vij, flanked by the probe committee members, claimed there were many irregularities, unethical practices and protocol of diagnosis and medical duties was not adopted.

"The death of the girl has happened due to Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA) protocol not being followed. The girl was on a ventilator, but she was put in an ordinary ambulance, ventilator was withdrawn and an ambu bag was not provided in that, which became the cause of her death, which is a very serious irregularity," Vij said.

Releasing the contents of the inquiry report, the minister said the child should have gone in an Advanced Life Support ambulance. But she was provided a basic ambulance, he added.

"Negligence, lapse, unethical, unlawful acts on the part of the team of doctors of Fortis hospital has been found when the patient was shifted from the ICU to the ambulance," he alleged.

The minister further said that his department will write to the Medical Council of India demanding action against the hospital.

As far as this death due to negligence goes, we are going to register a FIR against the Fortis hospital because the child's death has occurred due to negligence, he said.

"Put in simple words, it is not a death, it is a murder. When a child was on advanced life support system for so many days and when it is suddenly withdrawn, the patient does not know, her parents are not aware of what could be the consequences but being doctors they should have known that it will be a sudden death," Vij said.

A committee headed by Dr Rajiv Wadhera, Additional DG, Health, Haryana, which submitted its report today, was set up by Haryana government on November 21 to probe allegations that the private hospital overcharged the girl's family.

The Centre had asked the Haryana government to initiate an urgent inquiry into the case that relates to the death in September of a 7-year-old girl.

The hospital had earlier refuted the charges, claiming the patient's family was informed about the bill on a daily basis and that there was no medical negligence.

Vij said the girl's parents also put their views before the committee. He said she was diagnosed with dengue and admitted to Rockland hospital in Delhi's Dwarka.

"Later on the patient was diagnosed as suffering from Dengue Shock Syndrome. She was admitted to Fortis, Gurgaon on August 31," he said.

Asked why the girl's parents wanted her to be discharged from Fortis, Vij said, "They wanted to take her back to Rockland, may be due to cost which they were incurring in Fortis."

Vij said that legal opinion will be sought on filing an FIR.

"But we have decided that we will lodge FIR against this Fortis hospital for medical negligence," he said.

He said dengue is a notifiable disease 'but it was not notified by the FMRI to the local authorities, which is a lapse'.

Our CMO has given them notice for this, he said.

He claimed that costly medicines were used when cheaper substitutes were available.

"Overcharging in transfusion of platelets was also found. Platelets were given on 25 occasions, out of which Rs 400 per unit was charged on 17 occasions and on eight occasions these were charged at Rs 2,000 per unit. We are going to cancel the license of their blood bank and have already given them a notice in this regard," he said.

A costly injection was administered on most occasions, which cost Rs 3,112 whereas a substitute costing Rs 499 was available, Vij claimed.

"The hospital made a hefty profit on medicines given, which works out to 108 per cent, and for some consumables it is as high as 1,737 per cent," he said, citing the report.

Land was given by HUDA to Fortis hopsital in Gurugram in 2004 under certain terms and conditions, which included 20 per cent of free OPD, 10 per cent free beds and 70 per cent discounted treatment to 20 per cent IPD (In Patient Department), but prima facie these terms were violated, Vij alleged.

"We are writing to HUDA in this regard because they have violated MoU agreements and if lease has to be cancelled, the HUDA committee will look into it," he said.

Vij also claimed that the girl's family had alleged that their signatures were forged on some of the consent forms.

Offered complete co-operation to government probe panel: Fortis

All documents, statements and details required by the probe panel of the Haryana government regarding the case were provided to them, the Fortis group said.

After the inquiry committee submitted its report, the Fortis group, in a statement said that they were 'yet to receive a copy of the report'.

The inquiry panel, set up by the state government, was led by Dr Rajiv Wadhera Additional DG, Health.

The private hospital had denied the charge, saying the patient's kin was informed about the bill on a daily basis.

The hospital group, in a statement, said, 'In reference to the recent media reports on a four-member government inquiry committee pertaining to the unfortunate death of baby Adya, we are yet to receive a copy of the said report.'

'Fortis extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of baby Adya and stands with them in their hour of grief. Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, offered complete co-operation to the committee and family of Adya. All documents, statements and facts as required by them to conduct a detailed inquiry, were provided,' it said.

Seven-year-old Adya was referred to the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, as a case of 'dengue shock syndrome in a critical condition and our medical team provided the best possible care in the given circumstances', the statement said.

Photograph: Reuters

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