A dead child, Rs 15 lakh in bills and a hospital that refuses to own up
On August 31, parents of 7-year-old Addya Singh made a vital mistake. They shifted their daughter, suffering from dengue, from Rockland Hospital Dwarka to the "prestigious" Fortis Memorial, Gurgaon, as they thought she needed better treatment. Little did they know they were signing a death sentence for her.
After being declared critical, she was admitted into the paediatric ICU and put on ventilator support. For 15 days the hospital treated her, charging the parents not only for tests and medicines but even for syringes and gloves — 2,700, if a Twitter post by a family friend is to be believed. At the end of the 15 days, the bill ratcheted up to Rs 15 lakh.
Jayant and Dipti Singh, residents of Shubham Apartments in Sector 12, Dwarka, did not complain. It was their daughter's life at stake.
But to what end?
On September 14, their world came crashing down when Addya died. The shock left them numb.
Dipti Singh, Addya's mother, rues the day they took her to Fortis. "Her condition deteriorated after she was admitted to Fortis. We had kept her in Rockland Hospital for two days, and shifted her only because we believed Fortis to be a better hospital. We thought it would save her life," she sobbed.
Jayant Singh, Addya's father, is incredulous at the way Fortis treated their daughter. "They were callous and inhuman when they were treating Addya. She died because of the carelessness," he told City Spidey.
“Every day they would bill us an astronomical amount of about Rs 1 lakh. Unnecessarily expensive medicines were administered. For instance, where medicines worth Rs 500 could have been given, the doctors switched to those that cost Rs 3,000. And they never us the details of the treatment,” Jayant added.
But that's not where it ended.
"No doctor was available on weekends and we were denied any briefing or update about her condition," Jayant continued. "But the surprising thing is they had stopped the drip and dialysis three days prior to her death, which meant they knew she was about to die. And what did they do about it?"
"The hospital staff were so inhuman they weren't even willing to give us her death certificate or an ambulance to transport her body. Is this the way a hospital operates?" he cried.
Which brings us to a question that has been plaguing the urban population for quite some time now. How safe are our hospitals? Can they be trusted? Are doctors really here to save us or just to make money?
It's time these questions were answered.