Prayagraj, Mar 06, 2021: The national child rights body on Saturday stepped in to investigate the death of a three-year-old girl outside a private Prayagraj Hospital, where her surgical wounds were reportedly left open and unattended because her family could not pay the bills, NDTV reported.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also launched an investigation into the case. A video of the incident is now circulating on social media and messaging channels.
According to ANI, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has requested a factual action report within 24 hours and has threatened to take stern action against United Medicity Hospital and its doctors if negligence on their part is established.
The parents claim that the hospital requested Rs. 5 lakh from them and that when they couldn’t pay, the child was discharged without even having her surgical wounds stitched up. However, the hospital has refuted this.
Additional Superintendent of Police Samar Bahadur said a preliminary inquiry had revealed that the girl was admitted to the private hospital on February 16, and underwent an operation and then she was referred to SRM Hospital, but the parents took her to the children’s hospital instead.
“She was treated there (children’s hospital), too, and then was brought back to this private hospital, but she died. We are getting a post mortem done,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
The incident’s video, which has since gone viral, shows the father explaining the situation as the child writhes in pain, a pipe protruding from her nose.
“After taking all the money, the doctor discharged her saying ‘it is beyond me now’. He demanded Rs 5 lakh. We gave him whatever he asked for. He asked for blood three times, we provided it,” he says in one such clip.
In another clip, the father reveals the wound which is swarmed by flies. A third video shows the child breathing its last at the hospital gates in her parents’ arms. The financially backward family reportedly from the neighbouring Kaushambi district.
According to the parents, the girl was turned away from the hospital after two stomach surgeries without her wounds even being stitched up.
The United Medicity Hospital has denied the parents’ claims, saying the girl had not been in the hospital for at least three days before her death. Medical director of the hospital Pramod Kumar told NDTV that the girl had spent up to 15 days there before being referred to a specialised government facility, and that her parents were charged only Rs 6,000 despite incurring a bill of Rs 1.2 lakh.