Gurgaon: Hospital staff refuses to hand over child’s body until bill paid

A private hospital here on Friday refused to hand over the body of a child, who had fallen off a building, to her mother, a domestic help, until she paid Rs.4.5 lakh in treatment cost, a government official said.

Fortis hospital allowed the body of Nabha, a girl who would have turned three in two months, to be claimed by her mother only after some social workers escalated the matter to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and informed the police, he said.

The hospital has denied the charge and claimed that police formalities caused the delay in handing over the body to mother Ujma, who works as a domestic help and is a widow.

Nabha was admitted to Fortis hospital here on Thursday after she fell off the first floor of her home in Wazirabad, near Sector 52 of Gurgaon.

Her mother Ujma fell unconscious after the accident, some of the social workers who helped her around after the incident told IANS.

Radheshyam and Jitender Kumar, two passers-by, took the bleeding child with serious head injuries to the hospital on a motor-bike.

The girl was treated at the hospital but could not eventually be saved, succumbing to her injuries on Friday.

The hospital then refused to hand over her body to Ujma until she footed the Rs.4.53 lakh bill.

The social workers then went to the district collector’s office to seek help and also informed the police commissioner’s office about the matter.

The body was subsequently handed over to the mother.

Jitender Kumar, who helped the girl, also had a harrowing time at the hospital, Kuldeep Singh, one of the social workers involved in the matter, told IANS.

Having carried the bleeding child to the hospital, Jitender Kumar took ill and had to be treated too, running up a bill of Rs.7,000.

“Kumar was held hostage by hospital security guards for nearly five hours as he didn’t have enough money to pay Rs.7,000,” Kuldeep Singh said.

Denying the charges, a Fortis hospital spokeswoman told IANS that there was some delay in handing over the body because of police formalities.

“We immediately started treating child without any advance deposit. We did not charge even a Rupee for treatment of the child,” she said.

“Jitender Kumar felt unwell and bill amounting to Rs.7,000 was for his treatment which he only paid partially,” she added.