Baby dies after Indian hospital removes her from incubator over $3.60 cost

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July 29, 2012

A newborn baby died in India after her parents could not afford to keep her in an incubator for approximately $3.60. The state chief minister has appointed a committee to investigate the incident.

Baby dies after Indian hospital removes her from incubator over $3.60 cost

July 29, 2012

A newborn baby died in India after her parents could not afford to keep her in an incubator for approximately $3.60. The state chief minister has appointed a committee to investigate the incident.

Baby dies after Indian hospital removes her from incubator over $3.60 cost

A newborn baby girl has died at a government hospital in India's northern Punjab state after doctors removed her from an incubator as her parents were too poor to pay the 200 rupees ($3.60) needed to keep her inside it.

Born prematurely on July 20, the jaundiced baby girl needed incubator support to survive, state health officials said.

The Civil Hospital authorities initially provided the baby incubator support for two days but on Wednesday night asked her father Sanjiv Kumar to pay Rs200 towards electricity charges needed to operate the life saving machine.

Kumar, an unemployed house painter had neither this meager amount nor was he able to borrow it from anyone, upon which the hospital authorities removed the baby from the incubator resulting in her death a few hours later.

"We begged and pleaded with them to keep our child alive in the incubator and that we would pay them the money later, but they refused" Kumar said.

Kumar claimed that the nurses also removed the saline drip from the baby for non-payment of dues.

"They (the hospital) killed my child" the dead baby's mother Sunita wailed inconsolably.

Sunita told the Hindustan Times newspaper that a hospital nurse had asked her to deposit Rs200 to ensure continued incubator support for her baby.

"I pleaded that my husband needed time to arrange the money, but to no avail and the baby was taken out of the incubator" she declared Early Wednesday morning Sunita noticed that her child was motionless upon which a panicked nursing staff, fearing disciplinary action immediately placed the child back in the incubator.

Three hours later the baby had died.

Prakash Singh Badal, the state chief minister, said the child's death at the Civil hospital in Jalandhar, 252 miles north of Indian capital New Delhi was "unfortunate" and has appointed a committee of senior health officials to complete an inquiry into the incident within two days.

He has tasked the committee to initiate action against errant hospital staff and awarded $1,855 as compensation to the bereaved couple.

The hospital superintendent Dr Iqbal Singh has declined to comment on the case.


Courtesy: Daily Telegraph