An upscale hospital in Delhi, India, that wrongly declared a baby “dead” cannot admit new patients, the state government said early Friday. Local media reports said that the Max Hospital’s license was canceled “effective immediately.”
“We have canceled the license of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. The negligence in the newborn death case was unacceptable,” Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said at a press conference.
The incident took place on Nov. 30 when doctors at the hospital handed over the twins in a plastic bag telling the family that both the children were stillborn due to their premature birth. While taking the babies for cremation, the family noticed some movement in the bag and found one of the babies alive. A preliminary investigation into the incident found the hospital guilty of not having followed prescribed medical norms in dealing with newborn infants. The hospital reportedly failed to conduct electrocardiography tracing before declaring the boy dead.
The baby, who was found alive, tragically died late Tuesday while receiving treatment at another medical facility.
The incident sparked widespread protests calling for strict action against the hospital for its negligence. Following an internal probe, the hospital had fired two doctors who were attending the newborns.
Announcing the termination of the two doctors, the privately run hospital said in a statement: “This strict action has been taken on the basis of our initial discussions with experts.”
“While the inquiry by the expert group which includes external experts from Indian Medical Association (IMA) is still in process, we have decided to terminate the services of the two treating doctors,” the hospital added. “We wish to clarify that this action should not presuppose finding of any lapse by the expert group and should not be construed in any way to be anything other than an expression of our continued commitment to providing quality healthcare.”
Jagat Prakash Nadda, the minister of health and family welfare, condemned the incident last week, saying: “Very unfortunate incident, have asked the Delhi government to look into the matter and take necessary action. I appeal to the states to adopt the Clinical Establishments Act so that regulatory authorities are operative and can see working and functioning of private institutions.”
The babies’ family also alleged that the hospital asked for a huge fee to treat the children and later told them that the two newborns had died.