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Infant dies as Pune hospital refuses to accept demonetised notes

An infant girl died at KEM hospital in Pune on Sunday after she was allegedly refused treatment by a prominent hospital for her heart condition. The two-year-old's parents have claimed that Ruby Hall Clinic refused to accept money in now scrapped denominations.

An infant girl died at KEM hospital in Pune on Sunday after she was allegedly refused treatment by a prominent hospital for her heart condition. The two-year old’s parents have claimed that Ruby Hall Clinic refused to accept money in now scrapped denominations.

However, Ruby Hall Clinic has refuted the claim made by her parents that the hospital reused to accept payment in defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.  The baby was admitted at KEM hospital two days as she was suffering from Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that makes it difficult for the baby to breathe.

Parents of the deceased girl said the doctors had advised them to admit her in Ruby Hall Clinic for heart surgery.

When they approached Ruby Hall Clinic, the billing department gave them quotation of Rs 3.5 lakh and told them to deposit the same before the treatment. The parents said that the hospital insisted the whole amount should be paid in cash. The parents were willing to pay around Rs 1 lakh (100 notes of Rs 1,000 each) in cash and the rest by cheque to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh to begin with. The hospital officials, however, asked for cash in new currency notes.

The parents even offered to pay part payment through cheque and cards. When the hospital turned down the demonetised bills, the parents offered them that they 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.

“They made us run from pillar to post to admit the girl. Had she been admitted to Ruby Hall Hospital, the golden hours would not have been wasted,” relatives of the girls said.  

The hospital authorities have said that the family never brought the baby to the hospital at all. “Our policy is always that whenever there is a case of emergency, treatment gets priority over money. The baby died even before she got here,” said an official.

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