An appellate body hearing the Max hospital twin death case today extended by a month the stay on a Delhi government order cancelling its licence last month, authorities said. The stay will be in effect till February 8, the next date of hearing, they said. The licence cancellation case pertains to the birth of a premature twin at the hospital in Shalimar Bagh on November 30 last year. Both the babies were declared stillborn by the hospital, one of them wrongly, and handed over to the family allegedly in a polythene bag. While the family was on its way to perform the final rites, they found that one of them (a baby boy) was still alive. The case triggered an outrage, prompting the AAP government’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to cancel the hospital’s licence on December 8 for alleged medical negligence.
The upscale hospital group on December 13 had filed an appeal in the Financial Commissioner’s court against the cancellation of the licence, which stayed the order and set January 9 as the date of next hearing. “The appellate body has set February 8 as the next date of hearing. So, the stay order stands extended by a month for the hospital,” Director General in the DGHS, Kirti Bhushan, told PTI. The hearing began this morning and went on for around 30 minutes, he said.
The Max Healthcare group also said in a statement today, “The relief granted to Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh earlier, will continue till the next date of hearing, which is February 8.” Following the stay order, the Max hospital had resumed its operation on December 20. “Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh continues to serve over 15,000 patients in its OPD, 3,000 patients in IPD per month including those from the economically weaker sections of the society,” the group today claimed.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police yesterday filed a status report on its probe into the death of twin babies at Max hospital before a court here, which has directed that the investigation be conducted expeditiously. During investigation, police claimed to have found that in the death register of the hospital, only the time of birth of the two infants was mentioned but not the time of their death, despite both being handed over in two separate tightly wrapped packages.
Max Healthcare in a statement yesterday had, however, claimed that “both the birth and death time entries were made in the specific registers which have already been provided as part of the investigation.” Also, the Delhi Medical Council on December 20 had issued a notice to nine doctors and two nurses of the hospital in connection with the case, and sought a response in 15 days.