‘Negligent’ Max Hospital loses licence

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New Delhi, December 8

The Delhi Government today cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, with immediate effect for alleged medical negligence. A woman in Max Hospital had last week delivered premature twins. Declared stillborn by the hospital staff, they were handed over to the family in a “polythene bag”. However, one of the twins was found alive while the family was on way for the last rites.The infant later died at a nursing home in Pitampura.The move came after a three-member government panel submitted its report to Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who described the incident as “not acceptable”. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said the licence had been cancelled till further orders. Also, the keeper of the hospital had been directed to “refrain from admitting any new indoor patient and stop all outdoor treatment service in the premises with immediate effect”.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned that “open loot or criminal negligence” by any hospital would not be tolerated. “Whereas we don’t wish to interfere in day-to-day functioning of private hospitals, open loot or criminal negligence by any hospital won’t be tolerated. We won’t hesitate to take the strongest action in such cases (sic),” he tweeted.Addressing a press conference, Jain said: “Max Hospital, a habitual offender, was sent three notices earlier too over lapses regarding the EWS (extremely weaker section) quota patients and dengue fever beds. The hospital cannot admit and treat new patients, which means the hospital’s billing function is not active now. They will continue to treat patients already admitted.”The DGHS, in its order, also said that “indoor patients admitted prior to the issue of this cancellation order shall be given a choice by the keeper of the hospital to continue their indoor treatment in your (Max) hospital or to be transferred/shifted to another hospital of their choice.”Max Healthcare authorities, in a statement, issued hours after the cancellation of the licence, said, “We have not been given an adequate opportunity to be heard. We have received the notice of cancellation of the licence. We strongly believe that this ruling is harsh.”We believe that even if there is an individual error of judgement, holding the hospital responsible is unfair and it will severely limit the ability of patients to access treatment. This will compound the shortage of hospital facilities in the national capital.”

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