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Rediff.com  » News » Girl dies of dengue, parents billed Rs 18 lakh by Fortis; probe ordered

Girl dies of dengue, parents billed Rs 18 lakh by Fortis; probe ordered

Last updated on: November 21, 2017 23:38 IST

Health Minister J P Nadda had asked for all details in the matter and promised that all necessary action would be taken.

The Haryana government on Tuesday ordered a probe into allegations that the Fortis Hospital in Gurugram overcharged the family of a seven-year-old girl, who died of dengue.

The move came after the Union health ministry asked the state government to initiate an 'urgent' probe into the allegations.

State health minister Anil Vij said a senior officer would investigate the case.

 

Directions have been issued to the officer to submit the probe report at the earliest so that strict action could be against the guilty, he said.

Vij said no hospital in the state would be allowed to play with the health and sentiments of the people.

Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan had asked for an action taken report within two weeks in a letter to the principal secretary of Haryana's health department.

'l request you to urgently initiate an enquiry into the whole incident,' she said in the letter.

She said the details of the treatment and the charges levied by the hospital need to be ascertained.

Expert opinion regarding the 'reasonability' must be taken on the details provided by the hospital.

'In case any overcharging, negligence or malfeasance is made out on the part of the hospital, exemplary action needs to be taken immediately to reassure the general public and to lend credence to the healthcare system,' she wrote.

The case relates to the death in September of a seven-year-old girl who was admitted with dengue to the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurugram, a multi super- speciality care hospital.

The hospital billed her family almost Rs 16 lakh.

The hospital in a statement refuted the allegation and said there was no medical negligence and all standard protocols were followed in the treatment of the patient.

"Patient Adya Singh was admitted at FMRI on August 31 at 11:16 am with an initial diagnosis of severe dengue. At the time of admission, the child's condition was serious and deteriorating," the statement said.

After an MRI (brain) of the patient on September 14, her family was again explained about the critical condition of the child, after which "they took the decision to take the child Leave Against Medical Advice", the hospital said, adding she succumbed the same day.

A total of 750 pairs of gloves and 600 syringes during a 15-day stay is "justifiable and acceptable" when the patient is in an ICU setting. Syringes are being misrepresented as "injections" which are very different from each other, it claimed.

The hospital had on Monday claimed that an itemised bill 'spread over 20 pages was explained and handed over to the family' at the time of their departure from the hospital.

All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged as per actuals, it had claimed.

'All standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to,' the hospital had claimed.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda had also sought a 'detailed report' from the hospital.

The minister, who termed the incident 'very unfortunate', said he had asked the health secretary to look into the case.

"The government has taken cognisance of the case. I've enquired from the hospital authorities and asked them to submit a detailed report to the health ministry," he told reporters on the sidelines of a health conference in New Delhi.

Nadda said he had taken note of the allegation levelled on Twitter on Monday night against the hospital by a friend of the girl's parents.

'One of my batchmate's 7 year old was in @fortis_hospital for ~15 days for Dengue. Billed 18 lakhs including for 2700 gloves. She passed away at the end of it...,' the friend said in the tweet which went viral.

Fortis Hospital in a statement on Monday had claimed 'all standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to'.

Fortis said it had charged the family Rs 15.79 lakh. 

'She was admitted with severe dengue which progressed to dengue shock syndrome and was managed on IV fluids and supportive treatment as there was a progressive fall in platelet count and hemoconcentration.

'As her condition deteriorated, she had to be put on ventilatory support within 48 hours,' the hospital said in a statement.

On September 14, the family decided to 'take her away from the hospital against medical advice and she succumbed the same day', it said.

Asked about the hospital's charges, the Nadda said, "We will inform state governments about such issues. An advisory has to to be issued."

"We have told them before also. We have the clinical establishment model Act (The Clinical Establishments [Registration and Regulation] Act, 2010) that needs to be adopted, so that patients can get relief. We will instruct the states again on this," he said.

The Act deals with the registration and regulation of all clinical establishments in the country, stipulating minimum standards for the facilities and services they have to provide.

Image used for representation only. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

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