A three-member committee — formed under the joint director of the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) — will investigate whether the Jeevan Jyot Hospital in Govandi failed to provide primary treatment to the newborn who succumbed later on its way to Rajawadi Hospital. The probe will begin on Tuesday afternoon.
The infant’s parents, who waited for more than 36 hours after its birth to avail neonatal care, blamed the hospital for not handing over the infant’s medical file containing its treatment history. They said the hospital also refused to accept demonetised notes worth Rs2,500, a part of their bill.
DHS officials said the committee will include a paediatrician from Sir JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College, and a representative from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“The focus will be on whether the doctor provided primary treatment to the infant and its mother. The committee will visit the hospital in a day or two to investigate,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director, DHS.
Health Ministry sources said a paediatrician was included in the committee to go through the course of treatment and patient records. “The specialist will check if the doctor — despite having the skill and equipment to treat the infant — refused only because the family offered to pay the bill in demonetised notes, to establish medical negligence on the doctor’s part,” said an official.
Dr Sheetal Kamath, from Jeevan Jyot Hospital, who allegedly refused to treat the patient, said she gave the infant and its mother primary treatment and referred them to Sion Hospital as they did not have enough money.
The family denied that Dr Kamath advised them to take the infant to Sion Hospital for specialised neonatal care. “How could we take the child to Shatabdi or Sion Hospital when we didn’t have the medical records?” asked Jagdish Sharma, father of the infant , when asked why they waited for more than 36 hours to avail treatment for the 1.6-kg newborn.