CHANDIGARH: A government panel probing the death of a seven-year-old girl has indicted Gurgaon's Fortis hospital for "several irregularities" including overcharging the patient's family and negligence, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said, announcing that the government intended to file a police complaint against the hospital.
"In simple words, it was not a death, it was a murder," Anil Vij declared at crowded press conference at his office on Wednesday, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
Little Adya, admitted to Fortis on August 31 with severe dengue, died on September 14. The family had been reportedly billed Rs 16 lakh for her treatment at the hospital.
Her family had initially accused the hospital authorities of overcharging and alleged that they had been kept in the dark about her condition.
The hospital had earlier refuted the charge, claiming the patient's family was informed about the bill on a daily basis and that there was no medical negligence.In a statement, the Fortis group said it had provided all documents, statements and details required by the probe panel and was "yet to receive a copy of the report".
Mr Vij alleged the girl died because the hospital did not follow the basic protocol after her parents insisted on taking her to another hospital.
"The girl was on a ventilator, but she was put in an ordinary ambulance, ventilator was withdrawn and an ambu bag (manual hand-held devices which support breathing) was not provided in that, which became the cause of her death, which is a very serious irregularity," said the minister, flanked by the members of the probe panel.
"Being doctors, they should have known that it will be a sudden death," Mr Vij said.
Doctors also used costly medicines were used when cheaper substitutes were available, he said. Citing the inquiry report, the minister said the girl was given an injection costing Rs 3,112 when a substitute costing Rs 499 was available.
"Negligence, lapse, unethical, unlawful acts on the part of the team of doctors of Fortis hospital were found when the patient was shifted from the ICU to the ambulance," he added, according to PTI.
Asked under which penal provisions the police complaint would be filed, the minister said this was something that the government was yet to decide. "But we have decided that we will lodge an FIR against this Fortis hospital for medical negligence", he added.
The probe panel also indicted the hospital for not reporting the dengue case to the state government when the young girl was admitted. "Our Chief Medical Officer has given them notice for this. Concealment of this fact can invite punishment ranging from one month to six months and fine from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000," he said.
(With PTI inputs)