Fortis dengue matter: Haryana govt finds hospital guilty of criminal negligence

Chandigarh [India], Dec 6 : A committee formed by the Haryana Government has found criminal negligence on the part of Gurugram's Fortis hospital, causing the death of a seven-year-old girl suffering from Dengue. The statement came after a committee of senior doctors, formed by the state government, gave its recommendations. The committee has alleged several irregularities, including refusal of appropriate ambulance service to the patient, not following leave against medical advice (LAMA) protocol, and overcharging. "The girl was on ventilator in the hospital, but she was provided with an ordinary ambulance. The ventilator system was withdrawn and an ambu bag was also not provided. This eventually led to the girl's death," Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday. According to the protocol by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), if a patient is discharged against medical advice then the hospital arranges or advises for an ambulance that could provide similar conditions. "The ambulance in which the girl was being transported had no such facilities. An Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance should have been used. But Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance was provided which had no such facilities," he added. The Haryana Government will file an FIR against the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for death due to negligence and will also ask the Medical Council of India (MCI) to take an action against the hospital which may include cancelling of its licence. The committee also found the Fortis Hospital guilty of overcharging for medicines and platelets and has sent a notice for cancellation of its blood bank's licence. "Costly medicines were used even when its substitute was available, violating the IMA's regulation. Also platelets were given 25 times. Out of which Rs 400 per unit was charged 17 times while Rs 2,000 per unit was charged for the remaining eight times. Overall profit margin in medicine is 108 per cent and few consumables 1,737 per cent," Vij added. Moreover, a notice has been sent to the Fortis Hospital by the committee for violating the Epidemic Act by not notifying the dengue case to the concerned local authority. If found guilty, the hospital authorities could be imprisoned for a period ranging from a month to six months and may have to pay a fine of Rs 200 upto Rs 1,000. It was also found by the committee that the hospital did not provide 20 per cent RBD to the patient's family, violating a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The parents had also alleged forgery of their signatures on consent form multiple times, Vij added. Parents of the seven-year old girl, who died on November 21 of Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), had alleged the Fortis Hospital for charging Rs 16 lakh for the 15-day treatment. The hospital, however, had denied the allegations.
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