A five-day-old child died on Wednesday night after hospital authorities in Jalandhar, Punjab, allegedly took the premature baby off life support just because her father was unable to pay Rs 200 for hospital charges.
The child was born ahead of its time on July 21 in Jalandhar's Civil Hospital and was kept in an incubator. On Wednesday, medical staff asked the father to pay dues in order to continue the child's treatment and keep her on the life support system.
"My wife Anita gave birth to a girl child in civil hospital on July 21. The child was detected with jaundice and later shifted to emergency ward on life support system," the child's father Sanjeev kumar told news agency Press Trust of India.
Kumar claimed that the hospital authorities mercilessly removed the baby from the incubator and detached her from the glucose drips since he wasn't able to arrange the money to pay the medical dues. The girl died within a few hours since then.
"Nurses told me to deposit two hundred rupees as its charge. I was unable to pay the money. Later, they removed my daughter from the system that resulted in her death last night," Kumar stated.
Though the amount wasn't huge, nobody came to the family's aid. Even the medical staff was reluctant to help. Kumar is a painter by profession, while his wife Sunita is a homemaker.
"The baby was very ill. They (hospital authorities) asked us to deposit Rs 200 first. We begged and pleaded them to admit our child but they refused," Kumar told Zee News.
According to reports, the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital refused to take responsibility for the incident but ordered an internal probe to look into the matter. The state government has also ordered for an investigation.