The death of a 7-year-old girl in the paediatric ward of Fortis Memorial Hospital in Gurugram has resulted in heated discussions on social media on the quality of health care provided by private hospitals.
The government has also stepped in, with the Union health minister saying action will be taken against the hospital. In a tweet, Health Minister J P Nadda stated, “We will take all the necessary action.”
The girl was admitted on August 31 with severe dengue, which progressed to dengue shock syndrome. There was a progressive fall in platelet count. As her condition deteriorated, she was put on ventilator within 48 hours of admission. Her relatives asked the hospital to take a CT or MRI scan to find out if the child was alive, before putting her on ventilator. But the hospital apparently refused. The relatives claimed the child, who was admitted in the paediatric ICU, was given 660 injections over a span of 15 days.
The patient’s family was billed Rs 18 lakh for the 15 days.
In an e-mail response, Fortis said, “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, her family decided to take her away from the hospital against medical advice (LAMA – leave against medical advice) and she succumbed the same day.”
The patient’s family claimed that they were forced to sign the LAMA form.
Another allegation was related to the high cost. The family claimed the hospital did not provide a break-up of the costs. To this, Fortis said the family was provided an itemised bill.