Anguished by the lack of response from AIIMS, the father of a student who died of dengue there in 2006 has sought the intervention of Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on securing compensation from the premier medical institute.
K Vijaya Kumar, the father of Kamalla Raj Kiran, a seventh semester student who died of dengue on September 30, 2006 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has sought a compensation of Rs 5 million alleging negligence by doctors.
Two voluntary organisations have also written to the minister asking for "a thorough inquiry" into the matter. Ramadoss is the AIIMS president and had set up an enquiry committee that found that Kumar's son died due to delay in treatment.
In his January 12 letter to Ramadoss, Kumar said the family looks upon him to "intervene" in the matter and to "do justice" as the minister is the "most supreme authority of AIIMS".
"I am very much grateful to you for appointing an enquiry commission to study the reasons behind the unfortunate and untimely death of my son at AIIMS on September 30, 2006. The commission's report revealed that my son died due to negligence and delay in giving the treatment," he said.
"A huge loss and injustice was done to my family due to the death of my son. We belong to a poor and Scheduled Caste family, and we had so many hopes and aspirations from the brilliant, intelligent and eldest son of my family," he said in his letter.
In this regard, he said he had submitted several petitions to the AIIMS director - first to then director P Venugopal and then to acting director TD Dogra - to pay ex-gratia on sympathetic grounds, but nothing was done.
"For this, we have been pleading for the last 14 months but have not got any reply from them," he added.
Speaking over phone from Hyderabad, Kumar told IANS: "We cannot get back our son, we feel that our claim for ex-gratia is justified."
Kumar, a homeopathic doctor himself, said as an enquiry has clearly stated that his son "died due to negligence of the doctors on duty, and overall delay in giving treatment at the right time", he has grounds for seeking compensation.
Agreeing with Kumar, two organisations - Voice For Health and United Patients' Welfare Association (UPWA) - have sought Ramadoss' intervention in the matter.
"This is a very serious matter and the family deserves full support and compensation," said Girijesh Kumar Mall, general secretary of Voice For Health, an organisation that takes up public causes.
In the letter, he said, since the inquiry committee appointed by the minister has already established negligence in treatment, there should be no delay in addressing the concerns of the family.
Seeking "a thorough inquiry into the aspect of medical negligence to restore public trust in AIIMS", Sadia Rahman, general secretary of UPWA, in her letter said, "We understand the AIIMS administration is busy pushing the matter under carpet."
"With your position and authority, you are requested to kindly take up the matter for giving early justice to the family."
Kumar said if justice was denied to him then he would have to take legal action against the prestigious institute.