Dont have the time to write on this for now but putting up clippings by various news organizations
Medanta refunds ₹16L dengue case bill, boy’s dad drops complaintChetna.Choudhry@timesgroup.com
New Delhi/Gurgaon: The father of a seven-year-old boy who succumbed to dengue last year has withdrawn his complaint of overcharging against Medanta after the hospital reimbursed him the full cost of treatment: Rs 15.9 lakh.
In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Gopendra Singh Parmar said this was possible because of the intervention of BJP MP Manoj Rajoria and the Union health ministry. Gopendra shared a letter dated March 1, written by Om Prakash Sharma, additional private secretary to health minister J P Nadda, to Medanta chairman Dr Naresh Trehan.
In the letter, written on a government letterhead, Sharma mentioned that Gopendra’s family was very poor and urged Trehan to take a compassionate view. The letter also mentioned that the request had come from Rajoria, who represents Karauli-Dhaulpur in Rajasthan where Gopendra is based.
‘I accepted money as I’m poor and can’t fight a legal battle’
Medanta Deal After Health Min Official Asked Hosp To Waive Charges
At that point of time, however, the medical board constituted by the state government was still probing Gopendra’s complaint. The board submitted its report on March 5, four days after Sharma’s letter to Medanta.
“Is it possible and proper for the central government to interfere in the matter when an inquiry is going on?” asked Jayant Singh, who lost his seven-year-old daughter Adya last year, and had filed a case of medical negligence against Fortis. Jayant was also present at the press conference.
While Sharma could not be contacted for a comment, sources in the health ministry told TOI the additional private secretary to the health minister had merely forwarded a request from the MP, Rajoria. “It was the MP who wrote for intervention from the health ministry,” said an official. Medanta did not respond to requests for a comment.
Gopendra, an LIC agent, said he had to mortgage his house to pay for his son Saurya Pratap’s treatment. “I accepted the money because I’m poor and don’t have the means to fight a legal battle in court. I have mortgaged my house and have another child to feed,” he said.
His decision to accept the cheque was also influenced by a series of disappointments since he filed his complaint last year after Saurya passed away on November 22.
On December 22, Gopendra said he managed to register a complaint against Medanta at Gurgaon’s Sadar police station after the SHO at the time, Vijay Kumar, kept him waiting for four hours. Met with complete silence after that, he filed another complaint on December 30, this time with the PM, Nadda, Cabinet minister Maneka Gandhi, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, registrars of the Delhi and Haryana medical councils and the Medical Council of India.
Gopendra said he also visited Chandigarh twice after his complaint was forwarded there, but was told by officials “the photocopier is broken, so we couldn’t receive the complaint or work on it”.
On January 10, a probe was ordered by Haryana health minister Anil Vij. A district-level committee was formed in Gurgaon to investigate. Almost two months later, Gopendra was handed a three-page report (in a similar probe into Adya’s death, the medical board had filed a 53-page report and recommended an FIR against a doctor). The report found Medanta had overcharged for blood units and drugs given to Saurya. But no case was filed after that.
Gopendra eventually accepted the reimbursement, and in turn agreed not to pursue a legal case against Medanta and its doctors, on March 20.
Saurya Pratap was admitted to Medanta on October 30 last year. He was suffering from severe dengue with multi-organ dysfunction syndrome. The boy was shifted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi on November 20 since there was no improvement in his condition, and the bill was running high. He was critical at the time of admission to RML and died on November 22.
Gopendra Singh Parmar (left) with Jayant Singh
Fathers want panel against malpractices
Jayant Singh and Gopendra Singh Parmar, fathers of two seven-year-olds who died of dengue last year, demanded on Thursday that the Centre should set up a committee to look into malpractices by private hospitals. “As a parent, the hospitals make you sign a bundle of papers which ensure you cannot take any legal action against them later. I have signed those. But there should be some authority to check what is wrong and how it can be amended. The refund is a burden on my soul, but legally my hands were tied,” said Gopendra. Jayant, who has moved the Supreme Court for a Rs 100-crore fund in daughter Adya’s name, said it will help children victim of medical negligence and their parents and in treating children from poor families. “We call upon the government of India to urgently impose ceiling rates on healthcare charges which is in any case mandated under the rules of Clinical Establishment Act and Rules,” said Malini Aisola, co-convenor of All India Drug Action Network, the NGO that organised the press conference of Jayant and Gopendra. TNN