Pregnant COVID-19 patient dies after multiple Istanbul hospitals refuse treatment

A pregnant woman who was refused treatment by multiple hospitals in Istanbul died from COVID-19. The 32-year-old woman was denied admission by the private hospital that had monitored her pregnancy, which also happened to belong to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in the past.

Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

A nine-months pregnant woman named Dönüş Kılınç died from COVID-19 in Istanbul when multiple hospitals refused to admit her on procedural grounds. 

Thirty-two-year-old Kılınç contracted coronavirus during the ninth month of her pregnancy and started getting intense contractions on Nov. 3 when she died.

When her contractions intensified, the woman's husband, Ramazan Kılınç, took her to the private Medipol Hospital in Istanbul's Pendik where she had been supervised throughout her pregnancy. 

"We are not a pandemic hospital. We can't admit your wife, take her to a pandemic hospital," Medipol authorities said. 

Kılınç called the hospital administration when they refused to admit his wife and was told to bring her back when she tested positive for COVID-19. 

"My wife was in agonizing pain, so we went to [public] Marmara Research and Training Hospital. They told us they couldn't treat pregnant COVID-19 patients because they'd filled out the state's quota for that," Kılınç said. "They sent us home."

Dönüş Kılınç's contractions intensified further at home, leading Ramazan Kılınç to consult with Medipol Hospital, but they told him to bring her back if she tested negative for COVID-19. 

Kılınç took his wife to a private hospital on Istanbul's European side, where she was taken into surgery immediately. 

The doctor who operated on Dönüş Kılınç said that her condition had progressed too much already upon admission and that she died during surgery after being intubated.  

"They said that we would have lost the baby too if we had waited any longer. That was a private hospital too, but they admitted us. Medipol shut their door in our faces, even though we had been their patients."

The private Medipol Hospital used to belong to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, Kılınç noted.

"The Health Ministry says they're battling the virus. I lost my wife because of a hospital [Koca] used to own. Is his conscience at ease with that?"

While the grieving father is preparing to sue Medipol Hospital, he said that the healthcare system failed them. 

Pendik Medipol Hospital said that they didn't admit COVID-19 patients a month ago, but failed to comment on whether they do now. 

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu presented a series of parliamentary questions to Health Minister Koca to inquire about the doctor who rejected the pregnant woman's admission. 

Asking about any complaints about the Kılınç family's doctor, the deputy also wanted to learn about any complaints to the Health Ministry regarding private hospitals, and Pendik Medipol Hospital in particular.