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Hospital holding baby captive, says woman

india Updated: Aug 07, 2008 00:08 IST
Kapil Datta
Kapil Datta
Hindustan Times
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A woman has alleged her newborn baby has been held captive by a private hospital for over a month, as she was unable to clear the hospital bill. The hospital has denied the claims and said the woman left the baby behind, as it was from her first marriage and that her second husband did not want her to have it.

The Noida District Magistrate has now ordered an inquiry into the matter after the woman filed a complaint with him.

The complainant, Laxmi, told the Hindustan Times she gave birth to a baby boy at Jaiprakash Hospital on July 4. “The delivery was normal. They gave me a bill of Rs 11,000. When I protested it was a normal delivery and they were overcharging, they took my baby away. Moreover, I had just Rs. 2000 with me,” Laxmi claimed.

She alleged the hospital staff told her told her to bring the money and take her son. “They allowed me to feed my baby. I would go to the hospital thrice a day for this purpose. But for the last one week they haven’t allowed me to feed my son and I haven’t even seen him,” she said.

Laxmi claimed the police sent her away when she went to file a complaint, after which she approached the District Magistrate (DM) on Tuesday.

Jaiprakash Hospital has denied the allegations. Suman Sharma, sister of hospital owner Dr. Seema Panchal told HT Laxmi had left the baby on her own.

“She left the baby on her own. In fact, she had come to us when she was in the seventh month of her pregnancy and asked us to abort the child. She had said the baby was from her first marriage and her second husband did not want it. We advised her otherwise,” Sharma said.

“She delivered the baby on July 4. I myself conducted the delivery,” she said. Suman said the hospital had been taking care of the baby for the past month. She showed the baby, who they have named Saurabh, to the HT team. “We have been approached by several people who have expressed their desire to adopt the child but we have refused,” she said.

Dr Panchal said, “Instead of going to the DM and complaining she should have contacted us and taken the baby.”

“The DM has ordered an inquiry into the matter,” said Surinder Ram, the City Magistrate. Noida Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. M.P.S. Verma, told HT, “I have received a letter from the DM and have deputed Dr. Rajiv Prasad, the Deputy CMO to conduct an inquiry.”

Another twist

Suman Sharma said she did not have any medical or nursing degree. “I have no medical degree but have been conducting deliveries for the last 10 years. I have also assisted my sister. I handle cases of normal delivery in the absence of my sister. If there is a need for an operation, we have specialists.” Dr. Seema Panchal admitted her sister did not have any medical degree.

CMO Verma, said, “If the person who conducted the delivery is found to have no degree we would be taking action against the hospital.”