After declaring dead newborn who was alive, Delhi’s Max hospital sacks 2 docs
A private hospital in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh sacked on Sunday two doctors in the case of alleged negligence in declaring dead a newborn who was breathing.
The baby was among twins delivered by a woman at the Max Hospital on Thursday. While one was stillborn, doctors declared the other dead a few hours later, the family had alleged.
“While the inquiry by the expert group which includes external experts from IMA is still in process, we have decided to terminate the services of the two treating doctors, Dr A P Mehta and Dr Vishal Gupta in the case relating to the twin extreme pre-term babies. This strict action has been taken on the basis of our initial discussions with the expert group and as a reflection of our commitment to higher standards of care,” the hospital said in a statement late Sunday night.
“We wish to clarify that this action should not presuppose finding of any lapse by the expert group and should not be construed in any way to be anything other than an expression of our continued commitment to providing quality healthcare,” the statement added.
The Delhi Police on Sunday sent another notice to the hospital to join investigation in the case.
DCP (Northwest) Aslam Khan said that the notice sent on Sunday after the police registered a case of attempt to commit culpable homicide on December 1.
“The first notice under section 91 of Criminal Procedure Code asking for documents was sent on Saturday. The second notice was issued under Section 160 where doctors handling the case have to appear in person on Sunday. They are yet to respond to either of the two notices,” said Khan.
Expressing concern, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday demanded a law to “check negligence and loot” by private hospitals.
“Whereas we value the independence of pvt hospitals and do not wish to interfere in their functioning, however, there ought to be a legal framework to check open loot and criminal negligence by a few blacksheep,” he tweeted on Sunday.
On December 1, the city government had ordered an inquiry into alleged criminal negligence by the hospital. On Saturday, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain had said that if the hospital was found guilty of negligence, its licence could be cancelled.
The police have also sought the names of the doctors and the medical reports of the child’s mother Varsha who delivered twins – a boy and a girl – on November 30.
DCP Khan said in the notice that CCTV footage has also been sought and the Max Hospital administration has to respond within two days as per the procedure. Failing to do so, a reminder would be sent and if they do not respond then, the police will take action.
The hospital, earlier, said they are working towards completing their own investigations into the case and were likely to make the findings public by Monday.
“The expert group set up by Max Healthcare to investigate the circumstances and protocols followed regarding the premature delivery (23 weeks/5 months) of twins and subsequent declaration of death at Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, is working swiftly towards concluding their detailed investigations. Dr Arun Agarwal, Chairman, Ethics Committee Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Dr Ramesh Datta, Joint Secretary, IMA, have been included as external experts in the group,” the hospital had said.
Police sources added that they were also expecting that the doctors will join investigations after the Max Hospital concludes its probe.
Ashish Kumar, the father of the infant, has also alleged in the FIR that the doctors demanded Rs 50 lakh to keep the baby alive and another Rs 35,000 to improve the chances of his wife’s survival.
These accusations are part of the FIR which was registered by the police on the complaint by Kumar.