The payment was made the Sourya’s father gave in writing that he or any of his family member will refrain from filing a legal case against the hospital
Pratap Vikram Singh | March 29, 2018 | New Delhi
Dr Naresh Trehan’s Medanta hospital handed out a check of Rs 15.68 lakh to the family of Sourya Singh Parmar, the seven-year-old child who died of dengue after undergoing three week long treatment at the hospital on October 29.
The child was put on ventilator from the next day at the super-speciality hospital and remained on the life support for close to three weeks. By the time the bill metre had already gone up to Rs 16 lakh. Around the same time the hospital doctors counselled the family to take Surya out of hospital as he would require a longer stay for full recovery. On November 20, the family shifted him to the RML hospital. Sourya could not survive more than 48 hours, owing to the internal bleeding caused due to invasive mucormycosis – caught during a period of low immunity.
READ: Heartbreaking stories of backbreaking medical bills
The hospital has now paid back the overcharged amount on the request of union health and family welfare minister JP Nadda. A letter dated March 1 from Om Prakash Sharma, additional private secretary to health minister, addressing to Dr Trehan said, “The applicant comes from a poor family, and keeping in mind his mental trauma caused due to the untimely death of his son, you are requested to empathetically consider the enclosed request and reimburse the treatment charges.”
It is noteworthy that Sourya’s family had written to the union health minister several times, requesting him to set up enquiry against Medanta and take action against it. According to the family, the minister has passed on the request to the state health minister. However, no action was taken.
Following Sourya’s death, the family went to a police station in Gurgaon but failed to file an FIR registered. His father Gopendra had been making rounds of ministers, MPs and MLAs for help.
Eventually, member of parliament Manoj Rajoria, from Karauli –Dholpur, (Parmars come from Dholpur) spoke to Nadda who then requested Dr Trehan to reimburse the treatment charges to the family.
Gopendra was then contacted by the Medanta hospital. The hospital officials asked Gopendra to give in writing that he would not take up a legal case against the hospital. Following a negotiation during which the hospital initially offered half of the treatment charge, the hospital staff eventually agreed to reimburse him the whole of amount, people aware of the matter told Governance Now.
While speaking to the media in a press conference, Gopendra said that he didn't sign the letter in any pressure. He, however, said that he accepted the reimbursement with a heavy heart and owing to the poor financial situation of the family. Gopendra had to mortgage his house to pay the treatment fee to Medanta.
This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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