Haryana government’s probe into the death of 7-year-old Adya, daughter of Jayant Singh at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, has indicted the hospital for grave negligence, lapse, unethical and unlawful act. Coming down heavily on the hospital, Haryana’s health minister on Wednesday squarely blamed the hospital for Adya’s death while indicting it for overcharging for medicines and other consumables.
Revealing the findings of the three-member probe panel constituted by the state government, Anil Vij disclosed that the state government shall get a criminal case registered against the hospital on charges of “causing death by negligence” under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The state government shall also be writing to the Medical Council of India recommending stern action against the hospital. Vij added that the state government has also issued a notice to Fortis hospital to cancel the license of their blood bank, after gross violations were highlighted by the probe panel.
The probe panel has found that the hospital charged Adya’s parents a whopping price for treatment and minted as high as 108 per cent profit margin in medicines and as high as 1737 per cent profit margin in other consumables. Read | Family protests over Rs 15 lakh hospital bill
“The probe panel has found lots of irregularities. Protocol of diagnosis and medical duties was not followed. Child’s death was caused by not adopting the Leave Against Medical Advice (LAMA) protocol. The child was on the ventilator, but she was shoved in an ordinary ambulance. Ventilator was taken off and even the ambubag was not provided that eventually led to the child’s death, which is a very serious irregularity,” Vij said while talking to media persons in his office at the Civil Secretariat here today.
He added, “IMA Protocol says that if a patient is discharged against medical advice, he/she should be transferred out of hospital in a similar condition. Either the hospital should make arrangements or hospital gives an advice to the attendants of the patient. But the ambulance in which the child was taken out of hospital, the ambulance had no such facilities. The child should have been given Advance Life Support System, but the child was provided BLS ambulance, which had no such facilities. It amounts to negligence, lapse, unethical and unlawful act on the part of team of doctors of Fortis hospital when the patient was shifted out of ICU.”
Mincing no words against the hospital, Vij further said, “In layman’s language, it is a murder. The patient is unaware; patient’s parents don’t know the consequences. But you are a doctor and you know the consequences if life support system is withdrawn from the patient. But legally, we shall be getting the FIR registered on charges of causing death due to negligence.”
Vij added that Adya’s parents have also alleged that their signatures on one of the two consent forms were forged by the hospital authorities. “We shall also be inquiring into it,” said Vij.
Also under the Epidemic Act, the hospital was supposed to inform the civil hospital in Gurugram about the dengue patient, which they did not do. “Our Chief Medical Officer has already issued a notice to the hospital in this regard. It is a very serious offence and attracts a punishment that varies from one to six months and a fine of Rs. 200 to Rs.1000,” Vij added.
The health department has also written to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which provided the land to the hospital at concessional rates, seeking termination of the hospital’s lease. “Since HUDA had given a concessional land to the hospital, under the MoU, hospital is supposed to provide a 20 per cent rebate to EWS category patients. Probe panel has found that the hospital was not fully adhering to these terms and conditions, which is a violation of MoU. We have also written to HUDA seeking termination of the hospital’s lease,” Vij told media persons.
“In reference to the recent media reports on a four-member Government Inquiry Committee pertaining to the unfortunate death of Baby Adya, we are yet to receive a copy of the inquiry report. Fortis extends its heartfelt condolences to the family of Baby Adya and stands with them in their hour of grief. Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram offered complete cooperation with the Committee and the family of Baby Adya. All documents, statements and facts as required by them to conduct a detailed inquiry, were provided. Baby Adya was referred to FMRI, Gurugram as a case of Dengue Shock Syndrome in a critical condition and our medical team provided the best possible care in the given circumstances. Fortis remains committed to the highest standards of medical excellence and compassionate patient care.”