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IGIA pulled up over facilities

Medical facilities at Delhi's IGI airport are inadequate and authorities have ordered immediate upgradation, reports Harish V Nair.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 02:16 IST

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the International Airports Authority of India to immediately upgrade the medical facilities at Delhi's IGI airport observing that it was ill-equipped to handle emergency cases like heart attacks.

"To just provide preliminary care in the form of dispensary with one doctor who is competent only to provide first aid or some other minor service is highly inadequate in a place thronged by thousands of passengers", Commission President Justice JD Kapoor and Member Rumnita Mittal said.

The court gave the directions while disposing off a case in which a Reader at the Hans Raj College, Prashant Vedalankar, collapsed at the departure lounge of the IGI airport following a heart attack and died while being taken to the AIIMS, 30 km away.

Holding that absence of medical facilities at the airport for passengers who need emergency treatment was one of the reasons for Vedalankar's death, the court asked the IAAI to pay a compensation of Rs 35,000 to his family.

The Commission said the IAAI was deficient in service in not maintaining the requisite standards and the arrangements there are only sufficient for attending to minor ailments. They have been directed to equip airport with facilities to attend those who suffered stroke or deceases where delay may prove fatal.

"Certain standard is expected of the airport with hundreds of flights arriving and departing even in the wee hours. The nearest adequate medical aid was available only 30 km from the airport at AIIMS which takes at least 30 minutes to reach and it may prove fatal to the patient" Justice Kapoor said.

Vedalankar was to board the Air India flight to Mauritius on December 1, 1993 when he suffered a heart attack.

The duty doctor reached the spot after some time and gave two injections and also rubbed the chest of the deceased as a result of which he was revived. However, he died in the ambulance on way to AIIMS.