The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, Director General Health Services (DGHS) and the medical superintendents of AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals, seeking an explanation as to why patient care was disrupted in the two hospitals.
A spat between the two hospitals came to light after Safdarjang sent back a few patients referred from AIIMS on August 31, citing that they are already over-burdened. AIIMS authorities had then requested DGHS RK Srivastava to intervene and settle the issue. Taking suo moto cognisance of two news items carried in the Hindustan Times, the court directed that the matter be registered as a PIL.
Observing that the “conscience of the court was shaken” on reading the two news items ‘Denied treatment at Safdarjung, three of a family die’ published in the Hindustan Times on September 9 and ‘Safdarjung takes on AIIMS now’ published on September 11 Justice SN Aggarwal asked them to file a reply by September 19. “Three patients have died and many others are suffering only because of refusal to receive the patients by two hospitals AIIMS and Safdarjung for one or the other reason. The refusal by the hospitals to receive patients for any reason is a serious matter,” the court noted.
On September 9, Hindustan Times had reported that three people, including two children, died outside the burns ward of Safdarjang Hospital on Sunday, after being refused treatment due to lack of beds. The patients were a part of a family of seven, who had come from Agra after a cylinder burst.