Mumbai : Controversy has shadowed on the private hospital in Govandi, with reports flashing all over the media, that the hospital refused admission to an infant in the wake of currency demonetization, leading to its death.
Mumbai Mirror, first reported the case of an infant boy who died a day after being denied treatment by Jeevan Jyot Hospital and Nursing Home in Govandi because his parents wanted to pay a part of the deposit in Rs 500 currency notes, which ceased to be legal tender starting Tuesday midnight. The father of the infant, a carpenter, has filed a case with the local police with a copy being forwarded to the Maharashtra Medical Council.
The doctor at the hospital, Dr Kamath, has denied all allegations, claiming manipulation of facts in the media report.
“The patient [newborn baby] was a 1.5kg baby delivered in the toilet at home on November 9. I [Jeevan Jyot Hospital] don’t have Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) facilities and hence [I] gave a letter referring the baby and mother to Sion Hospital,” Dr Kamath informed HT. “I practice in the area doing low-cost affordable deliveries. I am the last person to turn away a patient.”
The police has filed an first information report (FIR) against Dr Kamath under sections 304A (causing death by negligence) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). The matter has also reached the state health minister, Dr Deepak Sawant, who has directed a state level committee to investigate the matter and provide a verdict in eight days
The incident, which immediately garnered eyeballs from medical community and general public alike, has sprung the state government into action, which has issued a warning to all private hospitals, not to deny patients for the want of cash. The hospitals have also been directed to accept cheques from patients in case of emergencies.
It is reported that the state government had earlier allowed private hospitals to accept the demonetised notes, however with the central government denying the permission to Maharashtra government to extend the facility of accepting the demonetised notes till midnight of November 14, the hospitals have stopped accepting them since November 11
As per another HT report, after a high level meeting with the health department officials, CM Fadnavis has issued directions to all private hospitals in the state. Salient features include
- All private hospitals have been directed to accept cheques from those being admitted in emergencies.
- The government has also taken the guarantee of up to Rs10,000 each for bounced cheques and said the amount will be refunded from the chief minister’s relief fund.
- Denial of treatment will invite action from the government, including action against the doctor (Maharashtra Medical Council) and the hospital/healthcare institution (under the Maharashtra Nursing Home Registration Act)
“Officials of the health department are keeping a close watch on the situation. The patients can phone our helpline 108 in case of non co-operation from the hospitals. The patients and their relatives should also phone us with the phone/mobile numbers of the officials of the hospital concerned so that immediate intervention is extended,” Fadnavis tweeted on Sunday evening.