Four months old Nepali baby taken hostage by Indian hospital after parents failed to pay for treatment

Published On: August 8, 2021 02:36 PM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, August 8: The Paramount Hospital (Nursing Home) in Siliguri, India has kept hold of a four months old baby of Mechinagar Municipality-10 after the baby's parents could not pay the hospital charges.

The hospital’s administration has sent the baby’s mother Sharmila Chaudhary and father Sanam Chaudhary to look for money to pay the treatment fees of their child. 

The two parents had admitted their child to the hospital on July 30. The cost of the treatment turned out to be Rs 160,000 and the hospital had put pressure on them to pay the dues. Sanam and Sharmila Chaudhary, who are both laborers, had paid INRs 54,000 to the hospital. The amount was received as donations from their local society. After being unable to pay the rest of the money, Sharmila is waiting at the hospital with her child as other members of the family are looking for ways to collect the remaining money to be paid to the hospital.

The family had also taken a loan of Rs 115,000 to pay the hospital dues on Saturday, but were informed that the bill had increased and were asked for an additional INRs 50,000 to be paid before they could take the child home.

BP Bhattarai, a neighbour of the Chaudhary family had initiated a money collection campaign for the couple but had managed to collect only INRs 54,000 from the local residents. He said that additional donations could not be received due to the ongoing lockdown in Jhapa due to COVID-19 infection.

The two parents had initially admitted their four month old to a hospital in Mechinagar after the child’s stomach had started to swell. From there, the child was transferred to Anjali Hospital in Birtamod, Jhapa after which he was taken to BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan.

The doctors of the Institute had addressed the need to conduct a surgery on the child but had asked them to take the child to another hospital as there was a doctors’ strike in Dharan at the time. 

The couple was left with no other alternative but to take their child to India for treatment after wandering around in Nepali hospitals. “We finished all our savings and loans after changing hospitals in Nepal,” Sharmila Chaudhary said. “The hospital in Siliguri is asking for INRs 50,000 and has taken hold of my son. They have sent me home to look for money,” She said. “What should I do now?” she asked.

(With Inputs from RSS)


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