Hospital can lose licence if found guilty: Jain on baby case

New Delhi, Dec 2  In the wake of a premature baby being wrongly declared dead by a city-based private hospital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain today said if the hospital is found guilty of negligence in the probe, its licence can be cancelled.

The government had yesterday ordered an inquiry into the “criminal negligence” by the Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, after it surfaced that its doctors had declared the baby dead but he was found to be alive later.

“Once the report comes out, toughest action will be taken. And, if the hospital is found guilty of medical negligence, then its licence can also be cancelled,” Jain told reporters.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had promised “strict action”.

This baby boy was one of the prematurely born twins (boy and girl) delivered on the morning of November 30 to Varsha at Max Hospital. The other baby was stillborn.

The mother was brought to the hospital from a nursing home in Paschim Vihar, police said.

The parents were earlier told by the hospital that both the babies were stillborn, and were handed to them in a polythene bag, but just before their last rites, the family found that the boy was alive, police said.

“We rushed the baby to a nearby nursing home in Pitampura, where he is in life support,” the father told reporters yesterday.

Jain said the report is expected in two days.

The Delhi health minister said, “The same hospital was issued a show cause notice on November 22 for not fulfilling some norms related to providing services to patients of EWS (economically weaker section) category.”

“We had done a probe (in EWS case) and it was also found that in the OPD, only 10 per cent of the patients were being attended to than the 25 per cent,” Jain alleged.

Asked if any action will be taken against the doctors involved in the case, he said, the matter will be sent to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and then based on the response, any action will be taken.

Expressing displeasure over the incident, Jain also alleged that “in the name of reforms, private hospitals have been given concessions, and government hospitals been destroyed, deliberately”.

He claimed that a lot of influential people are involved with running private hospitals, and so “government hospitals are being ruined, to benefit the private ones”.

“The Delhi government is all focused on strengthening the healthcare system. In the last two-and-a-half years, the number of patients visiting our facilities have increased one-and-a-half times, and we are determined to bolster our health sector,” he asserted.

Police has already registered a case under section 308 of the IPC, which governs cases related to attempt to commit culpable homicide and the offence under it is punishable by up to seven years in jail.

A senior police official yesterday said, “Two doctors from the hospital have been named in the case.”

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