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Hospital returns critical patient...

delhi Updated: Nov 25, 2008 00:32 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

Shanti Devi, 25, with her dead baby in her womb was rushed to Saroj Hospital in Rohini on Monday morning only to be sent back with an estimate of Rs. 2.5 lakh.

A severely anaemic Shanti Devi had suffered a miscarriage in her 32nd week of pregnancy.

Unable to remove the baby from the uterus because of lack of Intensive Critical Care support, doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital referred her to Saroj Hospital, which was the closest private hospital in the area.

“My wife was crying with pain but the doctors at Saroj Hospital refused to admit her after handing us an estimated bill of 2.5 lakh. Both of us are daily wage labourers and to pay so much money is impossible. They also told us that we did not have enough documents to prove that we were poor,” said her husband.

“Although I wasn’t present at the time the patient was brought in, I was told that she was not carrying her BPL card. The documents that she was carrying were inadequate, as a nodal officer had not certified them. We anyway cannot admit all poor patients who come to us,” said Dr Akhil Vohra, doctor on duty at Saroj Hospital.

When medical director Dr P.K. Bharadwaj was contacted, he denied knowledge of the case and said he was out of station.

A senior doctor in the gynaecology department at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital said, “We sent the patient to the hospital accompanied by our junior resident. We also provided documents, including a letter signed and stamped by our gazette officer certifying that she was a BPL patient who needed immediate care. The hospital authorities did not say anything till our doctor was present. Problem started after the doctor left.”

Another doctor in the casualty at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital said the patient has now got an infection. “Along with platelet derangement, she has contracted septicemia,” she said.

“As per the Delhi government’s directives, which provides for 10 per cent free beds to the poor, she was referred to the nearest hospital. They said she did not have papers to prove her poverty. This is ridiculous,” said Ashok Agarwal, an advocate fighting the cause of poor patients.