The Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurugram has been found guilty of “grave negligence, lapse, and unethical and unlawful act” by a committee probing allegations of overcharging in a case related to the death of a seven-year-old girl who died of dengue in September.
“Based on the panel’s indictment, we are recommending registration of an FIR against the hospital. Also, a notice has been issued to cancel the licence of its blood bank that overcharged for platelets transfusion, which was done 25 times,” said Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday.
May cancel lease
In addition, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will be asked to explore the possibilities for cancellation of lease of land given to the hospital, the Minister said. “The hospital violated norms laid down in its land lease understanding with the government to provide free medical care to 20% of patients,” he added.
The victim, Aadhya, was admitted to the FMRI for fifteen days. The hospital billed her family almost ₹16 lakh. Following this, the Health Department had constituted a panel under the chairmanship of Additional Director General Dr. Rajiv Wadhera to probe the case.
The parents of the girl also gave their statements before the committee.
Mr. Vij said that as per the report of the committee, the girl was admitted in Paediatrics ICU from August 31 to September 14 and during this period, the hospital not only violated the diagnosis protocol but also ignored the rules and regulations of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
‘717% mark up’
“In this context, we have written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) for appropriate action. In violation of IMA norms, the hospital deliberately used expensive medicines rather than generic and affordable medicines in treatment of the girl. Some of consumables used by the hospital were over charged by 717%,” he said.
“Put in simple words, it is not a death, it is a murder,” Mr. Vij said.
The Minister further said that as per rules, the hospital has to provide information about dengue patient to the local civil hospital, but the Fortis hospital did not do this. “Civil surgeon, Gurugram, has also issued a notice to the hospital in this regard, which has a provision of punishment,” he added.
The report also pointed out that the parents of the girl wanted to shift to another hospital after their daughter’s health showed no improvement.
Mr. Vij said that as per IMA guidelines, an advance life support ambulance should have been provided. “Contrary to this, the hospital provided a basic life support ambulance, which lacked oxygen and other basic facilities. The parents of the girl apprised the panel that the hospital administration forged their signature on the consent letter,” said the Minister.
‘Cooperated with probe’
The hospital, in a statement said, that it had not yet received a copy of the report.
“FMRI, Gurugram, offered complete co-operation to the committee and family of Aadhya... All documents, statements and facts as required by the panel to conduct a detailed inquiry, were provided... our medical team provided the best possible care in the given circumstances [to Aadhya],” read the statement.
With PTI input