Almost after 10 days a baby wrongly declared dead by the Max Hospital, Delhi Government on Friday canceled the license of the Max Superspeciality Hospital after citing a series of violations and reports.

On November 30, 20-year-old Varsha gave birth to premature twins at the hospital. While the baby girl was declared stillborn, the baby boy was declared dead a few hours later. As the family was taking the bodies for their last rites, the baby boy was found breathing. He was admitted to a private nursing home, where he stayed till his death on Wednesday.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain announced this in a Press Conference after the final report of an inquiry by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) submitted to him on Friday found the medical negligence. Patients already admitted would be given a choice to be transferred or complete their treatment and no new patients would be treated, including in the OPD. According to the Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953, the government needs to give 30 days’ notice before canceling a license. Responding to a question on the notice period, Mr. Jain said it did not apply. “There’s no such thing. Under it [the Act] notice can be given for a shorter time also. The earlier notice was given for seven days. It can’t be that someone does an illegal activity and we spend three months after giving a notice,” he said.

The panel found that the staff nurses had handed over the bodies of the babies without written directions from a paediatrician and missed the “signs of life”. The hospital had also entered the baby boy’s name in a register of stillbirths, the inquiry found, leading the DGHS to say it was prima facie a case of medical negligence.

Earlier this week, a report by Deputy Director General of CCI  (Competition Commission of India) has concluded that Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, has been making 275% to 525% profit on the sale of disposable syringes by abusing its dominant position to force inpatients to buy such products from its own pharmacy.

The report also detailed how the extracting of such “huge profits margins” from inpatients was prevalent across all 14 hospitals of the Max group. With both stating that they merely followed standard business practices, what emerges is that inpatients at private hospitals in India are being forced to pay up to five times the actual cost of medical devices or disposables like syringes, pushing up their bills enormously. In the private healthcare market, consumables and medicines constitute typically 40-50% of an inpatient’s bill.

MEDICAL REPORTER believes that “Signs Of Life” is a difficult thing to judge in an extremely premature baby like in this case. Though it is expected out from such grand institutions to stay more accurate in such sensitive cases but mistakes in such cases are not rare. We all know the horrific case of negligence in Gorakhpur Hospitals (PS – The Govt. hospital never faced such extreme action even when they are at the wrong side). Though a definite action is required but canceling the license of a whole running hospital might be an extreme and populist step which will have its own repercussions.

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