Baby Zamil Ahmad is now recovering at Welcare Hospital Image Credit: Xpress / Zarina Fernandes

Dubai: A finance executive has alleged that a major private hospital refused to admit his 28-day-old daughter suffering from an acute respiratory infection, despite her condition being ‘critical'.

Sohaib Ghizali said he met with little success when he tried shifting his daughter Zamil Ahmad from Belhoul Speciality Hospital, where she was being treated for broncholitis since May 12, to the American Hospital on May 16, because its ICU facilities were more advanced.

No assistance

Ghizali said he contacted the paediatrician at the American Hospital who asked him to bring Zamil's reports to the hospital for assessment before she could be shifted from Belhoul Hospital. Ghizali said he was asked to contact on-call duty doctors as the paediatrician would be unavailable after 4pm.

Ghizali alleged that when he went to the American Hospital with the necessary documents on the evening of May 16, the nursing supervisor on duty took the reports from him to get them vetted by the on-duty doctors. However, she allegedly informed him on the doctors' advice that he should return the next morning when the paediatrician was available.

"The nursing supervisor arrogantly refused to assist us in any way and asked us to come back the next morning and to take the child to Al Wasl Hospital if it was such an emergency. She was going back and forth speaking to the duty doctors with whom we weren't allowed to speak directly," Ghizali said, adding that he subsequently rushed his daughter to Welcare Hospital from the American Hospital, where the duty doctor promptly took care of Zamil's admission.

The medical report of the hospital on May 17 stated that the baby was referred from Belhoul Speciality Hospital for intensive care management of respiratory distress and that at present, she was under intermittent oxygen therapy with feeds given in small incremental amounts tolerated. "She is recovering," said Ghizali.

Meanwhile, Dr Ashok Lodha, Specialist Paediatrician at Belhoul Speciality Hospital, in his medical report said, "I have explained in detail about the nature of illness, duration of treatment, prognosis and possibility [rare] of worsening respiratory failure and need for invasive ventilation. I have given them [parents] the option of shifting [the baby] to other … better equipped hospital."

An immediate comment from the American Hospital was not available.