Dengue scare grips Delhi: Cabinet discusses options against errant private hospitals

Among options, law to ensure no hospital turns away patient, special Assembly session to be convened if needed, CM says no explanation for refusing treatment.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee , MAYURA JANWALKAR | Delhi | Updated: September 16, 2015 10:08 am
 dengue, dengue delhi, delhi, dengue in delhi, delhi dengue, delhi hospital, arvind kejriwal, kejriwal, delhi dengue, delhi news, indian express Dengue patients and their attendants at Dayanand Hospital in East Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday discussed “various options” to ensure dengue patients are not turned away by private hospitals. The Cabinet meeting was held two days after The Indian Express reported the death of seven-year-old Avinash Rout, who died of dengue after he was turned away by five private hospitals. His parents committed suicide after cremating him.

Sources said in the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, ministers discussed bringing in a law to ensure no hospital refused a patient. It was also debated whether the government could levy penalties or cancel the licences of hospitals that turn patients away or a new regulation was required to ensure patient safety.

WATCH VIDEO: Discussing Government’s Proposed Actions & The Ground Situation

“It was decided that these options will be finalised very soon. The Cabinet also discussed the possibility of convening a special session of the Assembly to implement the option the government will finalise to deal with negligence by private hospitals,” said a government statement.

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“At present, these options are before the Cabinet. Once it decides on the option, a special Assembly session will be convened,” a source said.

Separately, in a meeting with over 100 representatives from private hospitals, Health Minister Satyendar Jain warned that no patient should be refused admission. He said the hospitals would have to increase bed capacity to accommodate dengue patients. For this, he said, the government would relax the norms for “per bed” spacing.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kejriwal said his government was planning to bring a law under which private hospitals refusing admission to emergency patients could be penalised. He also conducted surprise checks at several hospitals, including Guru Teg Bahadur and Dr Hedgewar Aarogya Sansthan in Karkardooma.

“It pains me to see children dying of dengue due to lack of beds. Hospitals which refuse treatment will not be spared. There can be no explanation for refusing treatment to a patient, especially a child, for profit…,” he said.

Kejriwal said cancelling licences would only worsen the situation of beds. “I want to take action against hospitals, but cancelling licences is not the solution. This will only worsen the hospital bed situation,” he said.

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  1. A
    Sep 16, 2015 at 10:32 am
    I don't get the CM's argument. If the only drive was profit, wouldn't an additional patient add to it. Health services are constrained throughout the year, let alone in times of an outbreak. For private hospitals, think of the wrath they would invite from all quarters if they admit 510 patients over 500 beds. The government would be better off coming up with some constructive and innovative ways to tackle this menace, rather than name calling.
    1. Y
      Sep 16, 2015 at 4:26 pm
      Why is there no fogging.
      1. D
        D P
        Sep 16, 2015 at 7:26 am
        I would want to ask Kejriwal how did we get to this condition. Did he not get the streets cleaned and no garbage being scattered. The public needs to press hard and demand that situation be turned around without further damage to people's health.
        1. J
          j s
          Sep 16, 2015 at 7:30 am
          Rather than criticising Center should join hands with Kejriwal government to provide health care facilities - Jarnail Singh Dhillon
          1. Tarun Durga
            Sep 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm
            Problem is no brainer. Health and education are not glamorous.So ignore them.Unfortunately there is forward planning by anyone. People lack common civil sense.Water logging at homes, coolers and roofs.Not cleaning their overhead tanks.Throw garbage all around keeping their own premises clean.Atude is its not my problem now its yours............... The government ahs a similar atude blame centre for everything. The potion of delhi grows at more than 20 percent rate annually.How many school seats and hospital beds are added to the city infrastructure.Its proabably less than 5% IF PRIVATE sector too is included. What we have is mismatch between demand and supply. This crisis is mana made. People want free water and free electricity.Money spent on free water or electricity subsidy could hae been used to build more hospitals and emply more doctors ,nurses and teachers.Now people are paying with their children's life for these freebies
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