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Political blame game as Max Hospital resumes operation after stay on licence cancellation

The Delhi government on December 8 cancelled the 250-bedded hospital’s licence after its doctors on November 30 declared a premature newborn baby dead

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2017 17:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Max Hospital,Delhi government,Court of Finance Commissioner
Police force outside Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, where a newborn baby was wrongly declared dead in New Delhi.(HT Photo)

After remaining closed for 11 days, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh resumed operations on Wednesday after the court of financial commissioner stayed the Delhi government’s order cancelling the hospital’s licence.

“The operation of the impugned order has been stayed till the next hearing,” the order said. The court will hear the matter on January 9.

The Delhi government had cancelled the private hospital’s licence on December 8 after a probe found it guilty of repeated negligence, including wrongly declaring a newborn dead.

“Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate appellate authority to whom an appeal was made...,” the hospital said in a statement.

The announcement resulted in a ward of words between the AAP government and the lieutenant governor’s office with the former blaming the latter of influencing the authority’s decision in its first hearing.

“The finance commissioner, who has stayed the Delhi government’s decision on Max Hospital, is appointed by the L-G and exercises powers delegated to him by the L-G himself. It is using these delegated powers that the official has attempted to shield Max Hospital. The role of the BJP-led central government-appointed L-G in protecting Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, has clearly been established,” said AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj.

L-G Anil Baijal’s office issued a clarification, saying, “The office was at no stage involved in this matter.”

“The powers of appellate authority, being a quasi judicial function, are performed by the financial commissioner, Delhi as per his/her judgment without any interference or supervision by any authority. It appears a misinformation campaign was launched by vested interests, whereas the office of Lt. Governor at no stage is/was involved in this matter,” said a statement issued from L-G office.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who criticised the Delhi government’s decision to cancel the licence, alleged the issue was a ‘fixed’ deal between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the hospital.

“Every one knows the financial commissioner reports to Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia. Who is the Delhi government fooling?” Tiwari said.

The AAP spokesperson said Tiwari was “openly siding with the hospital owners by publicly defending them”.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken accused the government of not being serious in sustaining the cancellation of the licence. “Apparently, the Delhi government health department and Max were hand in glove and hence put up a weak defence before the appellate authority, leading to a stay on the cancellation of licence,” he said.

A boy and a girl -- twins -- were delivered at the hospital on November 30. Both were declared dead, wrapped in a polythene bag and handed over to the parents .

When the parents were taking the newborns for burial, they discovered that the boy was still alive.

The government probe found that the doctors and the staff did not monitor the vitals of the baby before declaring death. The baby died five days later.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 13:06 IST