Delhi

Family alleges Gurugram hospital charged ₹18 lakh for dengue treatment

Union Minister J.P. Nadda.

Union Minister J.P. Nadda.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

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Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has sought details of the case for necessary action.

The family of a seven-year-old girl, who underwent treatment at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurugram for dengue for almost two weeks and later died of the disease, has now taken to social media, accusing the hospital of raising a whopping bill of ₹18 lakh for the treatment.

The family has also accused the hospital authorities of being insensitive to the post, claiming that they were even made to pay for the last clothes that the girl was wearing.

Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has sought details of the case for necessary action.

According to the Facebook post of the father, the girl was first admitted to a private hospital in Dwarka, but “they took the case very lightly like a normal dengue patient is treated and after two days of her admission into the hospital, they themselves suggested to shift her to FMRI in Gurugram”.

The post claimed that the hospital in Dwarka did not arrange an ambulance, saying that they don’t provide an ambulance to the patients who are referred to other hospitals.

'Hell like situation'

The girl was taken to FMRI, but “after a whooping 15 days of hell like situation, where round-the-clock our lips were chanting unending prayers, doctors hinted to us with an MRI analysis that child’s brain has got hugely damaged where from the recovery was not possible,” said the post.

“Secretly, we were advised to let her rest in peace and take her home where we were told they would not remove the ventilator inside the hospital premises. Minds were numb and breathing power got choked, with this advise. However, we opted to take her with us to the home, the very last time. We were not able to understand the conspiracy behind such an advise then, but now when this amount of time has passed thinking about the loss of our daughter, we have understood that if they would have removed her from ventilator it would then have been compulsory for them to report the death due to dengue in their hospital premises,” said the post.

“While we were going through all such situations, two more things that the hospital advised us was to arrange our own ambulance and to pay for the cloth she was wearing during the treatment. We were made to pay even for the last cloth which our daughter was wearing. The last nail was when the ambulance attendant asked for the sheet in which the girl was wrapped as it had a GPS chip for hospital records. We had to pay for that sheet as well,” the post added.

Overpricing

A friend of the family, through a series of tweets, claimed that the hospital charged the family for whopping 660 syringes, on an average 40 syringes a day and sugar strips, available at ₹13 a strip, were billed at ₹200 a strip. “Doctors kept refusing and delaying scans citing ventilator despite repeated requests. CT scans are possible with ventilator. When they finally did, the brain damage was extensive,” a tweet claimed.

“This is not about the profit of a hospital, its about the pride of a father. This is not about the death. On the contrary, it’s about living with dignity,” said the tweet.

Family was kept informed, says hospital

Reacting to the allegations, the hospital said the family was kept informed of the patient’s critical condition and they took her away against medical advice.

The FMRI, in an official statement, said:

“We empathize with the girl's family in this difficult hour of sorrow and grief. The seven-year-old girl 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.

“All standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to. 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 (PICU) 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. We have been in touch with the family to address their concerns and remain available for any further support required. We understand the grief of the bereaved family and our heartfelt condolences go out to them.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 10:51:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/family-alleges-gurugram-hospital-charged-18-lakh-for-dengue-treatment-nadda-seeks-details/article20609551.ece

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