New Delhi, Dec 8: Even though the Delhi government on Friday cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, over a week after it erroneously declared a newborn dead, the hospital says the decision was taken without hearing their version.
In the cancellation order, which comes after a three-member panel submitted a report to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the government has stopped the hospital from admitting any new patients and halted all outpatient treatment services and laboratory tests on the premises with immediate effect.
“The registration of Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, stands cancelled, till further orders…,” said the cancellation order.
According to the government, indoor patients already admitted in the hospital would be given a choice by the hospital to continue treatment there or be transferred or shifted to another hospital of their choice.
The announcement on cancellation was made by the Delhi Health Minister.
The minister said a final report on an inquiry ordered by the government was submitted to them on Friday and the decision was taken after that.
Jain said last month they had issued notice to the Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh for problems in the treatment of patients under the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category.
Also, the hospital had continued to use extra beds allotted to them for a particular time even after the expiry of deadline, the minister said.
The baby boy — 22-week premature — was declared dead by the Max Hospital on November 30 and handed over to the parents in a plastic bag, along with its still-born twin. However, the baby showed some movement while being taken for burial. The baby was then admitted to a nursing home in north Delhi, but died on Wednesday.
Terming the Delhi government order as harsh, the Max Hospital said they were not given adequate oppurtinity to put forth their side of the story.
“We have received a notice of cancellation of the licence of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. We strongly believe that this ruling is harsh and that we have not been given adequate opportunity to be heard.
“We believe that even if there is an individual error of judgement, holding the hospital responsible is unfair and will severely limit the ability for patients to access treatment. This will compound the shortage of hospital facilities in the national capital,” said the hospital in a statement.
“We will explore all options available to us. We stand firmly behind our commitment to patient care, clinical and service excellence to the best of our capabilities,” added the statement.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) termed the cancellation of licence “too harsh a step”. It backed the hospital and said if all hospitals started facing such situations where patients died due to such mistakes then healthcare would come to a halt.
“We are not backing the mistake committed by Max Super Speciality Hospital. However, the cancellation of licence is too harsh a step. Action should be initiated against those who are at fault after proper inquiry by the Delhi Medical Council,” IMA President K.K. Agarwal told the media here.
Stating that mistakes occur even at premier government hospitals such as AIIMS and Safdarjung, Agarwal said that if government started cancelling the licences of hospitals in such a manner then all healthcare facilities would have to be shut down.