New Delhi: Fortis Memorial Research Institute (Gurgaon) charged the family of a sevenyear-old dengue patient almost Rs 16 lakh for 15 days in the ICU, but the girl died while being shifted from Fortis to Rockland Hospital.
Union health minister J P Nadda on Monday assured the bereaved family of action in the matter following an uproar on social media sites.
Fortis denied any wrongdoing. It said all standard medical protocols were followed in treating Adya Singhand all clinical guidelines were adhered to. In a “ detailed clarification” submitted to the health minister, Fortis said it had charged Rs 15.79 lakh.
It all started with a post on Twitter by the bereaved father’s friend on November 17. “One of my batchmate’s 7 year old was in @fortis hospital for 15 days for dengue. Billed Rs 18 lakhs including for 2700 gloves. She passed away at the end of it. Corrupt a*******,” he wrote.
Fortis denies any wrongdoing
The message was retweeted 9,000 times in four days, prompting a reply from the health minister. “Please provide me details on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will take all necessary action,” Nadda tweeted.
TOI spoke to the bereaved father who alleged the hospital had misguided them throughout. “The government must act against them so that no hospital deals with its patients like this again,” Jayant Singh, an IT professional based in Dwarka said. He took a personal loan of Rs 5 lakh, in addition to financial support from family and his own savings, to pay for the treatment of his daughter, Adya, who is no more.
Adya, a Class II student, developed very high fever on August 27. Her family said they had rushed her to Rockland Hospital in Dwarka two days later when the fever did not abate. Tests confirmed she was suffering from dengue. However, her condition worsened and Rockland suggested Singh take her to a bigger hospital. The family took her to Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon on August 31. Initially, she was given intravenous fluids and supportive treatment as there was a progressive fall in her platelet count. But when Adya’s condition did not improve, she was put on mechanical ventilation and intubated.
She remained on life support for 10 days, the family alleged, and during this time the hospital billed them heavily. “They have charged for 1,600 gloves, 660 syringes, high-end antibiotics and sugar strips which I am not sure were even used,” the family alleged.
They added: “On September 14, when an MRI was finally conducted and it revealed extensive damage to the brain, the doctors gave up. We decided to then take her to another hospital but doctors refused to even facilitate an ambulance.”
Adya’s father said her body had swollen up due to the illness and they asked the hospital to allow her to leave in the patient’s gown. “They made us pay for that too,” Singh said. Adya was declared brought dead at Rockland Hospital at September 14-15 midnight.
Fortis Healthcare denied any wrongdoing. “We empathise with Baby Adya’s family in this difficult hour of sorrow and grief. Seven year old Baby Adya was brought in to Fortis Memorial Research Institute (Gurgaon), from another private hospital on the morning of 31st August, 2017. 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 family was kept informed of the critical condition of the child and the poor prognosis in these situations. As a process, we counselled the family daily on the condition of the child. On 14th September, 2017, family decided to take her away from the hospital against medical advice (LAMA – Leave Against Medical Advice) and she succumbed the same day,” it said.
“An itemized bill spread over 20 pages was explained and handed over to the family at the time of their departure from the hospital. Patient was treated in the Paediatric ICU for 15 days and was critical right from the time of admission, requiring intensive monitoring. Treatment during these 15 days included mechanical ventilation, high frequency ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy, intravenous antibiotics, inotropes, sedation and analgesia. Care of ventilated patients in ICU requires a high number of consumables as per globally accepted infection control protocols. All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged as per actuals,” FHL added.