The family of a seven-year-old girl who died of Dengue while undergoing treatment at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon has been handed over a bill of Rs 18 lakh for a 15-day stay at the corporate hospital.
Even as the father of the deceased minor has demanded a probe into the treatment and excess billing of medicines, 660 syringes and 2,700 gloves, Union Health Minister JP Nadda has taken cognizance of the matter.
This shocking matter surfaced after, a friend of the deceased girl's father took to Twitter to disclose the whooping bill of Rs 18 lakh and the irrelevant charges that the family were asked to pay.
Nadda, responded to the tweet and assured the family that he will look into the incident.
"We will take all the necessary actions," the minister said on Twitter while asking the family to submit details of the bill to his office.
No MRI done despite brain damage
The minor, Adya Singh's was diagnosed with dengue on August 31 and admitted at the Fortis Hospital.
Interestingly, despite the doctors suspecting that the child had suffered brain damage, they did not conduct an MRI.
"She was on ventilator and dialysis for 15 days. The doctors had initially said that she should come off life-support in 24 hours. When that did not happen, they said they wanted to wait and see. After three or four days, we were told that there might be some brain damage. But no CT/MRI was done and the treatment continued," Adya's father Jayant Singh was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The hospital said that IV fluids and other supportive treatment was administered to the child who had Dengue Shock Syndrome, following which she was put on ventilator for 48 hours. The hospital said that standard medical protocols were adhered to and the family was kept informed.
Adya's family also did not question the treatment being given to their daughter.
However, when the doctors proposed a full-body plasma transplant (a procedure to remove, treat and return blood plasma), despite the brain damage, the family began to question the treatment.
"My first question was, why perform the procedure? Will it help her? With 80 percent brain damage, what would her life be like? The doctors said they can save the other organs," said Jayant, who then decided to shift the girl to another hospital.
Unfortunately, Adya died before being transferred to another medical institution.
Billed for gown, injections and gloves
When the girl's family had decided to shift her to another hospital, they were also asked to pay for the "hospital gown Adya was wearing because she couldn't fit into her clothes".
The family was in more more shock when the bill was handed over to them. The hosp[ital had charged them for some 660 syringes and 2,700 gloves.
"We are not from the medical background and even then some of the things appeared outrageous," said Jayant.
The photo of the bill, which Jayant's friend had posted on Twitter also shows that the Singhs were charged Rs 200 for strips to check blood sugar levels. The minor's family claimed that similar strips were available Rs 13 per piece on the Fortis website.
More facts since people asked for it. Read thread and see snaps.— D (@DopeFloat) November 19, 2017
1. Charged for a whopping 660 syringes. They pumped a 7 year old with an average of ~40 syringes a day. Parents kept insisting on MRI/CT Scan to check if she was even alive since she was on ventilator since day 5 pic.twitter.com/NvZKQgp9Pj
Meanwhile the hospital has listed the medical procedures that were administered to the child and hence the huge bill.
"Patient was treated in the Paediatric ICU (PICU) for 15 days and was critical right from the time of admission requiring Intensive monitoring. Treatment during these 15 days included mechanical ventilation, high frequency ventilation, continuous renal replacement therapy, intravenous antibiotics, inotropes, sedation and analgesia. Care of ventilated patients in ICU requires a high number of consumables as per globally accepted infection control protocols. All consumables are transparently reflected in records and charged as per actual," the hospital was quoted as saying by the HT.
Adya's family will now file a case with the consumer court.