The NHRC has issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government over a media report on the death of a man after various government hospitals in the city denied him treatment. Expressing serious concern over the recent incident, the rights panel has said it is “painful” to know that a person who was taken to a nearby hospital well in time was “not attended to by doctors even in the national capital”.
“Instead, he was referred to the other hospital, every time. The Rajiv Gandhi hospital is a super-specialty hospital of Delhi. It is not understandable that doctors were not available at such a well-equipped hospital,” it said.
Taking cognisance of the report, the National Human Rights Commission has sent notices to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Delhi chief secretary, seeking a detailed report in four weeks on the allegations in the media report with regard to the incident.
According to the June 17 report, the 22-year-old man, suffering from breathlessness and chest pain, was “not provided treatment by the doctors at different government hospitals in Delhi”.
The content of the news report, the NHRC said, are “indicative of lack of sensitivity towards saving a human life on the part of doctors of government-run hospitals, which were not able to provide life-saving medical treatment to the patient. They only referred the patient to the other hospital”. The victim, an auto-rickshaw driver, had complained of pain in chest and labored breathing in the afternoon of June 12.
An ambulance was called by the family and he was taken to the Hedgewar Hospital where he was administered glucose and then referred to the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, the NHRC said, citing the report. Both these hospitals are run by the Delhi government.
“At the GTB Hospital, the patient was kept in the emergency ward for three hours but no medical treatment was provided to him. The brother of the patient called the police, and he was then admitted to the hospital but after sometime, he was referred to the Rajiv Gandhi hospital at Tahirpur.
“Here too, he (patient) was kept for four hours and later it was told to the family of the victim that doctors are not available. The patient was again referred to the Safdarjung Hospital. He died on the way to the hospital,” the Commission said, in a statement today.
The family members of the victim have alleged that they took the patient to the hospital well in time, but the doctors “instead of providing treatment, kept on referring him from one hospital to another”. They have claimed that had the treatment been provided timely by the doctors, the “life of the victim could have been saved”.
“It is apparent that a precious human life could not be saved as the patient was not attended to by doctors and he was forced to travel from one hospital to the other, in a deteriorating condition.
“Therefore, if the content of the news report are true, this is a case of sheer negligence by doctors, amounting to violation of right to life and medical care,” the NHRC observed.