A 24-day-old girl from Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar with a major heart ailment died on Saturday after being allegedly denied a life-saving surgery at a Bengaluru hospital. The girl’s family explained she was supposed to get a free surgery at Bengaluru’s Narayana Hrudayala as part of the Madhya Pradesh government’s Mukhyamantri Bal Hriday Upchar Yojana (which comes under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram) but was allegedly denied treatment owing to their outstanding dues. The hospital, however, has refuted all allegations and said that they didn’t deny treatment to her and in fact, her parents got her discharged against medical advice.
The child was born with a congenital heart disease on August 23. She was getting treated at a private hospital in Indore before she was referred to Narayana Hrudayala for the surgery. She got admitted to Narayana Hrudayala on September 11.
Manoj Verma, the newborn’s father, said that even after producing the sanction letter from the Dhar administration, she was allegedly refused treatment by the hospital. The parents then reportedly deposited Rs 10,000 to start her treatment. However, after two-three days, they were asked to pay more money to continue her treatment, Mr Verma, who is a fruit seller, alleged.
“We were told that the MP government has an outstanding bill of crores and we would have to pay for our child’s treatment. We were given a bill of Rs 91,000 for tests and treatment on September 16 which we paid. They asked for Rs 3.64 lakh for the surgery. As we couldn’t arrange the big amount, we got her discharged and returned to Dhar. But she died the same day,” Mr. Verma said.
The hospital administration dismissed the allegations saying that even though the parents didn’t bring the sanction letter, they immediately admitted the baby and started her treatment.
“The baby was advised to undergo heart surgery, however, her family decided to return to their hometown in MP. They didn’t give consent for the surgery. Despite our best efforts to convince the parents they left with the girl. We later got to know that the baby didn’t survive. At no point during their stay at Narayana Health City did we deny treatment to her,” a statement released by the hospital said.
The statement also said that at present three patients are undergoing treatment under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram at the hospital. “We give quality health care to all, irrespective of their socio-economic background. We offer our condolences to the family for their loss,” it said.