Denied treatment at two govt hospitals in Delhi, premature baby dies on the way

iamin/Bhanvi Arora and Abhijeet Thakur

A premature newborn baby boy died on the way to the hospital between 2:30 to 3 pm on Monday after he was denied treatment in two government hospitals in the national capital. The premature baby had Respiratory Distress Syndrome with left sided Pneumothorax and needed a ventilator. 

The 32 weeks premature baby was delivered on Sunday via caesarean at around 12 pm at Muskaan Hospital in Budh Vihar. The doctors at Muskaan Hospital had told the parents that the baby had a respiratory problem and need to be kept on a ventilator for 48 hours but as the parents couldn't afford the charges of the hospital which is said to be Rs 10,000 per day, the child was refferred to a government hospital.

On Monday at around 12:40 pm, the baby was taken to Kalawati Saran Children Hospital in Connaught Place, but the hospital authority refused to admit or treat the baby saying that there is no bed and ventilator at the hospital.

Disappointed, parents again reached Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital at around 1pm but there too the doctors gave the same reason and refused to treat the baby.

At around 2:30 pm, the baby was brought to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) where the doctors declared the baby brought dead.

The child's father Dheeraj Kumar, a resident of Budh Vihar, said, “The doctors and staff at government hospitals are responsible for the death of my child. They didn't even attend my child. Why there is emergency ward in a hospital if they can't attend emergency case?”

Dheeraj is labourer and earns only Rs 4,000 per month.

A CATS ambulance employee on the condition of anonymity shared, "No doctor even diagnosed the baby at any of the hospitals we went to. Even a child care special hospital like Kalawati denied admitting the baby. This is a usual behaviour at Kalawati Saran hospital. Despite having all equipments, they deny admitting the patients."

Dr Girish Tyagi, secretary, Delhi Medical Council, said, “In case of emergency, doctors at the government hospitals should attend to the patients and treat them with proper care. If the child was denied treatment, then it is wrong on the part of the doctors.”

"The patient was brought to our hospital without accompanying doctor on ventilator which should not have happened. A doctor should always be accompanied with the patient," said the CMO on duty at LNJP hospital.

"The patient should have been treated immediately. The treatment should not have been delayed. The premature baby had Respiratory Distress Syndrome with left sided Pneumothorax. The condition worsened because the infant did not get the ventilator. It was a neo natal emergency," she added.

iamin also tried speaking to Delhi Health Minsiter Satyendra Jain, but he was unavailable for comment.

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