In a shocking incident, Fortis hospital in New Delhi refused to hand over the body of a 17-day-old child to his parents, demanding clearance of the pending bill of Rs 3,500.

The parents of the deceased infant are reportedly too poor to clear the bills, Sandeep, the father of the child is a driver and is a resident of Vasant Kunj.

“We have lost four children and this was our fifth child. The child was born with a defect in the heart and was under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Science. On Saturday, he became breathless after crying for a long time. In panic, we rushed him to Fortis Hospital. We deposited Rs 20,000 as security at the time of admission and the child was declared dead shortly,” Sandeep told The Hindu .

The hospital authorities informed the parents that they have to clear the pending bill of Rs 3500 or else the body of the infant will rot in the hospital.

Sandeep wanted his child to be treated free of cost under the BPL category and demanded free treatment. Eventually, after the intervention of a local MLA, the infant’s body was handed over to the parents.

The hospital authorities later issued a statement saying, “As policy, no charge is levied to provide treatment to below poverty line patients. In this case, the child was critical and admitted to the hospital as regular patient. In spite of the best efforts of our doctors, he could not be saved. The body was handed over to the family without any delay as soon as they came to collect it. All pending dues were also waived at the time. Our deepest sympathies are with the bereaved family”.