Delhi family moves high court for hospital bed, man dies before hearing

Updated on Jun 06, 2020 03:06 AM IST

The Delhi government’s counsel told the court that the day they received the plea, they had arranged a bed for Goyal. But when they called to inform him, they got to know that he had already died.

Additional standing counsel Anjum Javed for the Delhi government told the court that the petition was filed on Wednesday. photo:pradeep gaur/mint
Additional standing counsel Anjum Javed for the Delhi government told the court that the petition was filed on Wednesday. photo:pradeep gaur/mint
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRicha Banka, New Delhi

The family of 80-year-old Motiram Goyal, who tested positive for Covid-19, had moved the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, seeking directions to the Delhi government to arrange a bed with a ventilator for him in a state-run hospital. However, by the time the matter came up for hearing on Friday, Goyal had died.

The Delhi government’s counsel told the court that the day they received the plea, they had arranged a bed for Goyal. But when they called to inform him, they got to know that he had already died.

Additional standing counsel Anjum Javed for the Delhi government told the court that the petition was filed on Wednesday. They received it on Thursday and when he called the counsel for the petitioner on Thursday to inform him that a bed had been arranged, he was told that the patient had expired on Wednesday.

According to advocate RPS Bhatti, who represented the Goyals, the court said that matters with medical emergencies should be dealt with on the same day. However, the order is yet to be uploaded on the website of the Delhi High Court.

According to Anil Goyal, the son of the deceased man, they admitted his father to Jain Hospital at Vikas Marg on May 25.

Motiram Goyal was suffering from high blood pressure, nervousness and was also failing to recognise his family.

However, after a week, his father tested positive for Covid-19, allegedly due to the negligence of the hospital, a charge denied by the hospital.

“I admitted my father to the hospital on May 25 and a week later he was found positive, even though there were no symptoms. The hospital authorities kept my father beside a Covid-19 patient because of which my father was infected. Following this, they asked us to shift him to some other hospital,” Goyal alleged.

Sangeeta Jain, the director of Jain Hospital, refuted all charges of negligence and said that they were not a designated Covid-19 hospital. She added that Goyal had come in with several co-morbidities and in a confused state, following which he was admitted to their hospital.

“The patient had come in with several co-morbidities. He was being treated well. But when we conducted a Covid test, we found he was positive. Since we are not a designated Covid-19 hospital, we asked him to shift to another. Hence, their allegation that they have contracted the virus from the hospital is baseless. In fact, we took the best care of the patient when the family was struggling to get a bed,” Jain said.

Goyal’s family alleged that the newly launched Delhi Corona app, which ostensibly displays the number of beds available for Covid-19 patients in government hospitals, was of not much use, as the hospitals denied them admission citing non-availability of beds.

Anil Goyal, who works in a cycle repair shop, shared screenshots of the app with HT, which showed beds were available in certain hospitals. However, when the family called, these hospitals refused admission stating that they did not have beds available.

“From May 31, since my father tested positive, my son and I called several government hospitals and even went to them seeking admission for him. However, all the hospitals denied having beds, even though the app showed beds available.

“We also called several government helplines of both the Centre and the Delhi government and registered complaints on the non-availability of beds. However, no one gave us a solution as we struggled, even though various private hospitals could have admitted my father under the EWS category,” he said.

Anguished, they moved the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, while, he alleged, his father languished in Jain Hospital with no one to take care of him and no permission to meet his family.

Anil Goyal said that they also wrote about their problem on social media and emailed to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, but did not get a response.

“My son sent an email to the CM and also posted a message on Twitter tagging him, but we did not get any response. When my father died on Wednesday, we could not even see him one last time as the hospital authorities had packed his body and even covered his face. When we went to the cremation ground and tried to open the body bag, the people at the crematorium said that they would not conduct his last rites if we did so,” Goyal said.

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