A day-old baby born prematurely with respiratory complications died in his parents' arms on Monday after two leading government-run hospitals in Delhi refused treatment while a third made them wait.
The baby was born in a private hospital in Budh Vihar area in north west Delhi on Sunday noon and doctors had told the parents he has respiratory problems and needs to be kept on ventilator for two days which would cost around Rs 20,000.
As the baby's father Dheeraj Kumar, a labourer, expressed inability to afford the expenses, he was told to shift the new born to a government hospital.
The baby was first taken to the Kalavati Saran Children's hospital where doctors told the parents that there was no bed or ventilator available and he cannot be admittted.
The baby's relatives said the doctors at the emergency ward of the hospital run by the central government even refused to check the child.
The parents then took the baby to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, another central-government-run hospital. Though doctors checked the baby but they refused to admit him saying no bed is available and asked the parents to take the child somewhere else.
The baby was finally taken to LNJP Hospital (LNJP) where he was made to wait for around one hour and doctors later declared him brought dead. LNJP is a Delhi government-run hospital, they said.
"When we reached LNJP hospital, the doctors told us that they do not have portable oxygen cylinder and cannot offer treatment immediately. After making repeated request, the doctors tried to lift the baby from the ambulance to admit in emergency ward.
"As they took him off the oxygen supply which was installed in the CATS ambulance, the baby died. He died due to lax attitude of government hospitals," said a close relative of the baby.
The Union Health Ministry has sought a report from the two hospitals run by it which denied treatment to the newborn.
"We have sought a report from RML and Kalawati Saran Children's hospital over the allegations of the deceased newborn's family that the death occured as hospitals denied treatment to their child," said a senior official from the Health Ministry.