A nine-year-old boy died at a government hospital in the northern India state of Bihar after being fitted with an empty oxygen cylinder allegedly because his family wasn’t able to pay a Rs100 ($1.64) bribe.
The incident was reported by India TV.
It took place at Patna Medical College and Hospital late Wednesday night and was reported to police Friday, Gulf News said.
Rausha Kumar was admitted to the children’s emergency ward in PMCH Tuesday with a blood infection.
Doctors prescribed oxygen and he was fitted with an oxygen cylinder.
The next day, his parents asked the hospital staff to replace the almost-empty cylinder.
“However, the pharmacist in-charge, Subhash Prasad, allegedly demanded Rs100 ($1.64) from his parents to have the cylinder replaced,” the report said.
After the parents said they were poor and couldn’t pay the bribe, Prasad allegedly connected the boy to the empty cylinder.
“Sometime later, [our son] died of suffocation,” the boy’s father Surendra Sao said. Sao later filed a complaint with police against the hospital staff.
The hospital administration said it is looking into the allegations.
“We have ordered an inquiry into the incident and the accused will be taken to task if found guilty during the probe,” hospital superintendent Lakhindra Prasad said.
“We already have slogans written on the hospital walls in bold lettering urging the patients’ [families] not to give money to any staff,” Prasad added.
Here’s the original report on India TV:
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.