Denied admission for not furnishing an Aadhaar card, a woman gave birth just outside the doors of Gurgaon’s Civil Hospital Friday as a crowd looked on. Forced to leave the premises, the woman was screened from bystanders only by shawls used as makeshift curtains, as she gave birth. She was admitted hours after her daughter was born. While mother and daughter are recovering, the Civil Hospital has suspended a doctor and a nurse for the lapse and ordered a probe.
According to her family, Munni’s labour pains began around 9 am, after which an ambulance was called. The family reached the Civil Hospital 30 minutes later and immediately after entering, officials asked for her Aadhaar card.
“We only had the Aadhaar card number at the time, and said we would get the card as well…We asked them to admit her in the interim so that treatment could begin,” said her husband, Babloo, who works as a labourer in the city.
Babloo even showed hospital authorities his Aadhaar card. “On the basis of my own Aadhaar card, I requested them to admit her as quickly as possible. She was in a lot of pain and our aim was to get her relief as quickly as possible,” he said.
Officials declined the request and told the family to get the physical copy of the Aadhaar card related to the number first, and then come back. “I went out nearby to try to get a physical copy of the card, leaving my wife on the second floor. I was unable to get the document and, when I returned, they had even thrown her out, and she was sitting on the ground outside the hospital, giving birth,” said Babloo.
Although Munni was admitted to the hospital after she gave birth, with family members saying both mother and child were healthy and recovering, a probe has been initiated into the case and two hospital staff have been suspended. “Preliminary investigations have revealed that the woman was denied treatment because she did not have her Aadhaar card. A doctor and a nurse have been suspended for this,” said Dr Pradeep Sharma, Principal Medical Officer (PMO).
“The matter is still being investigated and further action will be initiated according to the findings,” he said.
As the family moved into the hospital after Munni was allotted a bed, only a grey shawl — one of the two used in an attempt to give her some privacy as she gave birth — and a pool of blood remain the only indications of what transpired Friday morning.
The couple had moved to Gurgaon’s Sheetla colony “7 or 8 years ago” and have a 3-year-old son, who was born in their native village, Gurdin Pura, in Uttar Pradesh. “My sister in law had applied for her Aadhaar card when they last went to the village, three or four months ago. They were given an Aadhaar card number at the time, but the card itself is yet to reach them,” said Sundar Lal, Babloo’s brother.
Friday’s incident comes just days after a woman was refused treatment at a Community Health Centre (CHC) in Jaunpur district in UP, for not furnishing an Aadhar card or any other kind of identity proof. Then, as her family argued with CHC officials, the woman had given birth to a baby girl on the hospital floor.