The family of a seven-year-old girl, who underwent treatment at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram for dengue for almost two weeks and next capitulated to the disease, has now taken to social media alleging the hospital of raising a bill of massive ₹18 lakh for the treatment.
The family has also blamed the hospital authorities of being unresponsive with the post alleging 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 required 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 quietly like normal dengue patient is treated and after two days of her admission into the hospital, they themselves advised to shift her to FMRI in Gurugram”.
The post alleged that the hospital in Dwarka did not manage an ambulance with the excuse that they don’t give an ambulance for the patients who were referred to other hospitals.
The girl was taken to FMRI, but “after a shouting fifteen days of hell like position, where round-the-clock our lips were reciting unending prayers, doctors hinted to us with an MRI analysis that child’s brain has got quite damaged where from the recovery was not probable,” said the post.
“Secretly, we were advised to let her rest in peace and take her home where we were told they would not discharge the ventilator inside the hospital premises. Minds were numb and breathing power got choked, with this advise. However, we choose to take her with us to the house, the very last time. We were not able to understand the treason behind such an advise then, but now when this amount of time has passed thinking about the loss of our daughter, we have assumed that if they would have removed her from ventilator it would then have been required 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 considered us were to manage 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 consequent asked for the sheet in which the girl was protected as it had a GPS chip for hospital records. We had to pay for that sheet as well,” the post added.
A friend of the family, through a series of tweets, accused that the hospital charged the family for whopping 660 syringes, on an average 40 syringes a day and sugar strips, available at ₹13 per strip, were billed at ₹200 per strip. “Doctors kept declining and delaying scans indicating ventilator despite repeated requests. CT scans are probable with ventilator. When they finally did, the brain harm was broad,” the tweet claimed.
“This is not about the benefit of a hospital; it’s about the pride of a father. This is not about the death. On the opposed, it’s about living with dignity,” said the tweet.
Family was kept informed, says hospital
Reacting to the claims, 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 press statement, said: “We sympathize with the girl’s family in this difficult hour of agony 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 proceeded to Dengue shock syndrome and was arranged 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 ventilator support within 48 hours. The family was kept informed of the demanding condition of the child and the poor prediction in these situations. As a procedure, we counseled the family daily on the condition of the child. On 14th September, 2017, family distinct to take her away from the hospital against medical advice (LAMA – Leave Against Medical Advice) and she capitulated 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 escaped 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 contained mechanical ventilation, high frequency ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy, intravenous antibiotics, inotropes, sedation and analgesia. Care of ventilated patients in ICU needs a high number of consumables as per globally approved infection control protocols. All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged as per actual. We have been in touch with the family to address their involvements and remain available for any further support needed. We understand the grief of the bereaved family and our heartfelt condolences go out to them,” said the detailed statement by hospital.