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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh’s licence cancelled after baby wrongly declared dead

Max Hospital at Shalimar Bagh has been found to be negligent after it declared a newborn baby dead, Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said

delhi Updated: Dec 08, 2017 23:15 IST

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Police deployed at outside Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, where a newborn baby was declared dead.
Police deployed at outside Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, where a newborn baby was declared dead.(HT Photo)

The Delhi government scrapped on Friday the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh where doctors last week wrongly declared an infant dead, triggering anger among people against private healthcare providers which often charge high fees.

Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain, while making the announcement, said the negligence on part of Max Hospital “was unacceptable”.

“All the patients currently admitted to the hospital will receive complete treatment, but no new admissions will be allowed,” he added.

The move means the hospital will also not be allowed to run its clinic — the out-patient department — and its emergency services.

“Indoor patients admitted prior to the issue of this cancellation order shall be given a choice... to continue their indoor treatment in your hospital or be transferred/shifter to another hospital of their choice,” read the cancellation order.

The Delhi Medical Council has launched a separate investigation to determine the role of individual doctors and punishments, if necessary.

“We have already asked the hospital to submit all the documents. The DMC will conduct an independent probe into the role of the doctors,” said Dr Girish Tyagi, secretary, Delhi Medical Council, to which the case has been referred by the police.

The case relates to the delivery of twins from a woman who was admitted on November 28. The baby boy was declared dead on November 30 and handed over to the parents in a plastic bag, along with his still-born sister.

When the parents took the bodies for burial, the baby started moving and was admitted to a clinic in Pitampura, but died on Wednesday.

A preliminary probe by the government found that the doctors and the staff did not monitor the vitals of the baby – including performing an ECG – before declaring death.

Also, the dead and the live twins were not kept and managed separately.

In a statement released hours after the licence was cancelled, Max Hospitals protested the order and called it “too harsh”.

Between January and November, Max Shalimar Bagh served more than 1.5 lakh patients in its OPD and 18,000 in emergency services, the hospital said.

Jain said the hospital was a “habitual offender”. According to the health minister, an inspection by the health department earlier found that the hospital made separate, discriminatory arrangements for free treatment to the poor. “EWS OPD was located in one corner of the hospital premises with a makeshift waiting area with broken chairs. The condition of the EWS OPD and its waiting area was pathetic,” the order read.

The inspection also found that the hospital admitted less than half of the number of poor patients than it should have and setup more beds than it had permission for.

“Usually, during the period when dengue cases are at its peak, hospitals are given permissions to increase their bed strength by 10-20% to treat fever patients. It was found that the hospital in Shalimar Bagh had been running these beds even after the period for which the additional beds were allowed and for treating people other than fever patients,” said Nagendra Sharma, the government spokesperson.

“We will explore all options available. We stand firmly behind our patient care, clinical and service excellence to the best of our capabilities,” the hospital added in a statement.