New Delhi: The union ministry of health has written to Haryana’s principal health secretary to urgently probe allegations against Fortis Hospital in Gurugram that it overcharged parents of a seven-year-old dengue patient who eventually died.
Health secretary Preeti Sudan has asked for an action-taken report within two weeks. “l request you to urgently initiate an enquiry into the whole incident. The details of the treatment and the charges levied by the hospital need to be ascertained. Expert opinion regarding the “reasonability" must be taken on the details provided by the hospital," she wrote in the letter,
“In case any overcharging, negligence or malfeasance is made out on the part of the hospital, exemplary action needs to be taken immediately to reassure the general public and to lend credence to the healthcare system," she said.
The patient’s father accused Fortis Hospital, Gurugram, of inflating bills for the treatment of his daughter, who died after spending 15 days at the facility. The bill came to Rs18 lakh. The itemised bill of 19 pages stated that the hospital charged for 661 syringes and 2,700 gloves and several other items used during the treatment.
The father, Jayant Singh, a resident of Dwarka neighbourhood, paid the amount but alleged that the hospital has inflated the bill and imposed arbitrary costs. He also claimed that despite the huge costs, the doctors paid little attention to his daughter. He claimed that his daughter was shifted to an Intensive Care Uunit and given over 40 injections every day; expensive medications were used even when much cheaper options were available, he claimed.
Fortis Hospital denied the claims, saying it had followed the standard medical procedure. In a statement, it said that the girl was brought in a critical condition and all clinical guidelines were adhered to in her treatment. The girl was shifted to Fortis on 31 August after she was diagnosed with Dengue Type IV and doctors at Rockland Hospital in Dwarka asked him to shift her to a hospital with a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Union health minister J.P. Nadda, taking note of the case on Twitter, wrote in a post: “Please provide me details email@example.com. We will take all the necessary action."
The hospital on Monday claimed that an itemised bill “spread over 20 pages was explained and handed over to the family" at the time of their departure from the hospital.
All consumables used were transparently reflected in records and charged as per actual costs, it claimed. “All standard medical protocols were followed in treating the patient and all clinical guidelines were adhered to," it said.