Hours after the Union Health Ministry directed the Haryana government to conduct an inquiry into Gurgaon’s Fortis Memorial Research Institute allegedly overcharging for the treatment of a seven-year-old girl, the state government Tuesday ordered a probe into the matter. The girl, Aadya Singh, had died of dengue-related complications in September. The family has alleged that they were billed about Rs 15.6 lakh for a two-week hospital stay, including for 611 syringes and 1,546 pairs of gloves.
The Union Health Secretary Tuesday directed the Haryana government to file an action taken report in two weeks: “In case any overcharging, negligence or malfeasance is made out on part of the hospital, exemplary action needs to be taken immediately to reassure the general public and to lend credence to healthcare system.”
State health minister Anil Vij said a senior officer would investigate the case: “Directions have been issued to the officer to submit the probe report at the earliest so that strict action can be taken against the guilty.”
The hospital, meanwhile, issued a detailed clarification: “At each step, patient’s family was briefed about her critical condition. On 12.09.17, a multidisciplinary consult team also met with the patient’s relatives… and told them about the guarded prognosis of the child, which was… signed by the patient’s father. On 14.09.17, an MRI brain was done after explaining to the parents the possible complications of transfer in such a critically ill child… Patient’s family was again explained about the critical condition of the child, after which they took the decision to take the child leave against medical advice (LAMA).”
The hospital said all consumables are “transparently reflected in records and charged as per actuals” and that “a total of 750 pairs of gloves and 600 syringes during a 15-day stay is justifiable and acceptable when the patient is in an ICU setting”.