A screenshot of Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat's official website. (JG Photo)

Baby Dies After Being Denied Intensive Care Over Down Payment


SEPTEMBER 10, 2017

Jakarta. Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat, Indonesia's largest listed hospital operator by market capitalization, came under the spotlight over the weekend when details of the tragic death of a 4-month-old baby girl at one of its hospitals went viral on social media.

The baby, who was reportedly diagnosed with heart abnormalities and experienced breathing problems, died in the emergency room of Mitra Keluarga Kalideres Hospital in West Jakarta on Sept. 3, after waiting for about six hours to be transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit of another hospital.

Although the Kalideres hospital had an available pediatric intensive care unit at the time, it refused to admit the baby because her parents could not afford the required down payment.

The hospital issued a statement on Friday (08/09) saying that the baby immediately received emergency treatment to stabilize her condition upon her arrival at the emergency unit at 03.40 a.m.

The doctor in attendance assessed that her condition was "very critical" and suggested treatment in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit.

Birgaldo Sinaga, who first mentioned the tragedy in a Facebook post on Friday, alleged that the hospital asked for a down payment of Rp 19.8 million ($1,500) and refused to settle for a lower amount, delaying the baby's treatment for hours. The Facebook post has been shared more than 28,100 times since.

The baby's father, Rudianto Simanjorang, reportedly offered the hospital Rp 5 million, which was all he had available in his bank account at the time, and promised to come up with the remainder later in the day, because it was still very early in the morning to ask around for money, Birgaldo wrote.

The hospital management was adamant however, that he should pay the full amount before the baby would be admitted.

It did continue treatment of the girl in the emergency unit and also helped the family search for other hospitals that accept patients covered by the Social Security Agency for Health (BPJS Kesehatan).

At around 09:00 a.m., the baby's family finally located a hospital willing to accept a BPJS patient, but her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died, despite doctors performing cardiac and lung resuscitation on her for more than 20 minutes.

"Above all, convey our deepest sense of concern and condolences to the family of Mr. Rudianto Simanjorang and Mrs. Henny Silalahi," Mitra Keluarga said in the statement.