NHRC notice to U.P. Govt over medical apathy towards two expecting women; Health Ministry to issue instructions to States and UTs not to deny treatment to non-COVID patients coming in emergency

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports of medical apathy towards two expecting women by various government and private hospitals in Gautam Budh Nagar and NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh. Accordingly, the Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks including the action taken against the delinquent doctors/ officials.

Reportedly, in the incident of Gautam Budh Nagar, an eight-month pregnant woman died when a frantic 13 hour hospital hunt failed to find her a bed. The victim aged 30 years was taken to at least 8 hospitals by her husband including the government run hospitals before she died in the ambulance, just outside a health facility in Greater Noida on 05.06.2020. In the second incident of NOIDA, a 26 year old woman was allegedly refused admission by the NOIDA District Hospital in Sector-30 and as a result she delivered a still born baby on the pavement, outside the hospital. The family of the woman has reportedly alleged that had she got timely treatment, the baby could have survived.

The Commission has observed that contents of the news reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights as the state authorities have failed to ensure right to life and medical care to its citizens. It is understood that amid spread of Covid-19 virus, the hospitals are receiving a very large number of patients and there is shortage of infrastructure but denial to attend to the patients by the hospitals is a matter of concern for it.

The Commission would like to know from the State Government whether any Standard Operating Procedure has been issued by it to the hospitals to deal with the current scenario, if yes, all the concerned shall be asked for strict compliance so that lives of the people coming to the hospitals in emergency for treatment of illnesses other than Covid-19, could also be saved.

Apart from this, the Commission has also sent copies of the press clippings to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to look into the matter and to issue specific instructions to all the States and UTs that people coming to the hospitals in emergency for treatment of illness other than Covid-19 are not denied medical treatment and critical support by them.

Reportedly, in the first incident, the victim was undergoing treatment at “Shivalik Hospital” which is a private facility, for the pregnancy related complications but when the family approached the hospital to get her admitted, she was forced to run from one facility to another. The family of the victim requested the ESI Hospital, the Child PGI at Sector-30, Sharda Hospital and Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater NOIDA but all the hospitals refused to admit her. They also tried to get admission in many private hospitals including Jaypee, Fortis and Max, Vaishali but all allegedly told that there were no beds available with them. The husband of the deceased has reportedly stated that finally they got admission in the GIMS Hospital where she was put on a ventilator but it was too late. The District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar district has reportedly ordered an enquiry in the matter.

In the second incident, as per media reports, carried today on 08.06.2020, the family had brought the expecting woman to the NOIDA district hospital in an auto-rickshaw. When the hospital denied to attend the patient, they tried to arrange an ambulance but in the meantime, the woman delivered the stillborn girl on the pavement.


NHRC

Press Release dt. 08-06-2020]

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