Baby girl dies after Pune hospital ‘refuses’ to accept old currency notes

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Pune, 21 Nov:  Adding one more number to the casualties attributed to demonetisation, a baby girl died after a Pune’s private hospital allegedly denied for the treatment of girl as the family was not having new currency notes for payment.

A baby girl died at Pune’s KEM Hospital on Sunday after she was allegedly refused treatment by a prominent hospital for her heart condition, apparently because of payment in demonetised currency notes.

However, Ruby Hall Clinic, where the girl was to be shifted for heart surgery, denied the allegations of infant’s relatives.

A close kin of Amrapali and Gaurab Kunte, parents of the deceased girl, stated that the doctors had recommended them to admit her in Ruby Hall Clinic for heart surgery.

“However, when we went to Ruby on Saturday morning, the billing department gave us quotation of Rs 3.5 lakh and told us to deposit the payment before any treatment.

“We then offered to make Rs 1 lakh payment in demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. However, the hospital administration refused to accept these notes,” claimed Sudhakar Gawandgave.

He expressed that her parents even offered to pay part payment through cheque and cards. “When they (Ruby Clinic) rejected the demonetised bills, we offered them that we would pay Rs 1 lakh through current cheque and Rs 30,000 through card payment and requested them to allow the remaining payment through another cheque, which needs to be deposited in a bank on Monday,” Gawandgave said.

He alleged that the hospital administration rejected their offer and instead demanded full payment which he said resulted into wastage of many crucial hours of girl’s life.

“They made us run from pillar to post to admit the girl. Had she been admitted to Ruby Hall Hospital, those hours would not have been wasted.

“The infant girl, who was in ICU at KEM, had to put on ventilator support and died early Sunday morning,” Gawandgave said.

However, Dr Sanjay Pathare, director, Medical Services, at Ruby Hall Clinic termed the allegations by the relatives as “baseless and false”.

In the wake of demonetisation, the Maharashtra government has directed private hospitals to accept cheques from patients in case of emergencies. The hospitals can face action if the patients are denied treatment for want of cash.

 Wefornews Bureau

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