The father of a seven-year-old who died of dengue in September at Gurgaon’s Fortis hospital has demanded an inquiry into the treatment and billing done by the hospital, which billed them for 660 syringes and 2,700 gloves during their 15-day hospital stay. The parents added that they were only allowed to take their child’s body only after they paid Rs16 lakh bill.
The Union Health Minister JP Nadda tweeted on Monday that “Please provide me details…We will take necessary action”. The seven-year-old Adya was admitted to Gurgaon’s Fortis on August 31 with severe dengue, and she died on September 14. Her parents, on the other hand, alleged that the hospital kept the little adya on the ventilator for three days despite she had stopped responding to treatment. However, the health minister assured that the action will be taken in response to a tweet by a family friend that has gone viral on the social media. “One of my batchmate’s 7 year old was in @fortis_hospital for 15 days for Dengue. Billed 18 lakhs including for 2700 gloves. She passed away at the end of it…,” said the tweet by D@DopeFloat.
“I want to appeal for an investigation and if any changes are required in the laws, they should be made. We would not like other people to suffer like we did,” said Adya’s father Jayant Singh to the news agency ANI. In a statement, Fortis hospital claimed that “all standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to”. “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 hospital’s statement said.
The hospital, however, claimed that on September 14 that the family decided to “take her away from the hospital against medical advice (LAMA – Leave Against Medical Advice) and she succumbed the same day.” While commenting on the charge of billing the parents for gloves, the hospital said that “an itemised bill spread over 20 pages was explained and handed over to the family…Treatment during these 15 days included mechanical ventilation, high-frequency ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy, intravenous antibiotics, inotropes, sedation, and analgesia. A 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”.