Listing a series of violations, the Delhi government on Friday cancelled the licence of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, almost 10 days after a baby declared dead by the hospital was found to be alive.
On November 30, 20-year-old Varsha gave birth to premature twins at the hospital. While the baby girl was declared stillborn, the baby boy was declared dead a few hours later. As the family was taking the bodies for their last rites, the baby boy was found breathing. He was admitted to a private nursing home, where he stayed till his death on Wednesday.
Announcing the decision, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the final report of an enquiry by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) submitted to him on Friday found the hospital at fault. Patients already admitted would be given a choice to be transferred or complete their treatment and no new patients would be treated, including in the OPD.
‘Missed signs of life’
The enquiry found that the hospital failed to keep “proper temperature and vital sign monitor record of the period of comfort care provided to the live male newborn”, the cancellation order reads. The panel found that the staff nurses had handed over the bodies of the babies without written directions from a paediatrician and missed the “signs of life”. The hospital had also entered the baby boy’s name in a register of stillbirths, the inquiry found, leading the DGHS to say it was prima facie a case of medical negligence.
“On the one hand, the government is improving healthcare facilities, constructing mohalla clinics and polyclinics. We don’t want to interfere in the private sector but if hospitals are looting people and showing criminal negligence, we will have to act,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
According to the Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953, the government needs to give 30 days’ notice before cancelling a licence. Responding to a question on the notice period, Mr. Jain said it did not apply. “There’s no such thing. Under it [the Act] notice can be given for a shorter time also. The earlier notice was given for seven days. It can’t be that someone does an illegal activity and we spend three months after giving a notice,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Max Healthcare authorities said they had received the notice.