NEW DELHI: Social media outrage over a $25,000 (£18,850) hospital bill charged to a family of a seven-year-old who died of dengue fever in September has prompted India’s health minister to investigate.
The family says they were billed for more than 600 syringes and 1,500 pairs of gloves in a two week period.
The issue came out after a tweet by a family friend last week expressing outrage got more than 10,000 retweets.
The private hospital in Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb, has defended the bill.
“We will take all the necessary actions,” health minister JP Nadda said, on Twitter, as outraged netizens began tweeting at Fortis memorial hospital.
The details of what is reported to be the 20-page bill have been circulated on Twitter, and there have been allegations that the hospital overcharged for things like strips that check blood sugar levels.
But Fortis memorial hospital issued a statement which said that they followed standard protocol, adding that the care of “ventilated patients in ICU requires a high number of consumables as per globally accepted infection control protocols”.
The girl, identified as Adya Singh, was diagnosed with dengue fever in August and admitted to Fortis Memorial Research Institute after her condition worsened towards the end of the month.
Her father, Jayant Singh, told local media that she was put on a ventilator the next day. “We were told that there might be some brain damage,” he said, but claimed that no MRI scan was done.
In a statement, the hospital said that she was admitted with “Severe Dengue, which progressed to Dengue Shock Syndrome,” adding that the family was kept informed of her “critical condition.”