Refusing treatment to accident victims can prove costly for private hospitals and nursing homes in the city. The Delhi government has threatened to cancel registration of hospitals if they are turn away such victims.
On February 20, the government issued a circular to all private hospitals, asking them not to refuse any accident victim.
The move comes after the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old woman last year. The victim was taken to the relatively far-off Safdurjung hospital from the spot where she was found rather than being rushed to any nearby competent health facility.
“We have issued strict warning to hospitals across the city not to refuse any trauma victim. If such a patient comes to their hospital, they must provide them basic immediate medical care. A number of accident victims die as they are not given treatment within the first hour. Sometimes, a lot of precious time gets wasted in taking the person to a government hospital,” health minister AK Walia.
“We had discussed this issue last month and a circular has been issued now. Even the high court has issued directions to these hospitals, asking them not to refuse any trauma patient,” added Walia.
“Strict guidelines have been formulated by the Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act. Those found violating them will have to lose their registration. The idea is to ensure that medical help is provided to the victims during the golden first hour. They can be shifted later to any hospital later on,” said a senior Delhi government official.
The circular issued by the Delhi health and family welfare department also states that after admitting the victim, the hospital should inform the police immediately. “Most hospitals tend to not admit the injured patient, claiming that the police harass them. But now, we have made it mandatory for them to admit such cases and inform the police as well,” the official added.
The circular has been forwarded to the Delhi Police. “Since the Delhi Police are the first to reach any spot, they can now take the victim to any nearest hospital, be it private or government. They should have a list of nearby hospitals with them for better response,” the official said.