Private hospital in Delhi gets notice for refusing free treatment to accident victim
If found guilty, the hospital, in this case Venketeshwara Hospital in Dwarka sector 18, could face cancellation of its registration.Updated: Oct 16, 2019 07:31 IST
The Delhi government on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to a private hospital in Dwarka for allegedly refusing free treatment to an accident victim.
This is the first time action is being initiated under the Delhi government “Farishte Dilli Ke” scheme; a programme initiated to save lives of accident victims by rewarding civilians who take them to the nearest hospital and reimbursing treatment costs. The scheme requires hospitals to not deny treatment to them for want of funds.
If found guilty, the hospital, in this case Venketeshwara Hospital in Dwarka sector 18, could face cancellation of its registration.
“The supervising authority ... issued a notice to show cause within one calendar month from the date of the receipt of this notice, as to why the registration of your nursing home/ hospital should not be cancelled,” the notice to the hospital read.
A hospital representative informed that they were yet to receive the show-cause notice.
“We have received no communication on the show-cause notice yet. But,as far as the Delhi government scheme is concerned,we have been accepting cases. In fact, we have taken in 140 cases including those of neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery since the scheme began,” said Gunjan Sinha, its chief operating officer.
The government action follows the complaint of a man named Purushottam Sharma.
“My nephew met with an accident in Najafgarh on October 9. My neighbour took him to a hospital nearby. They did some tests and stabilised him. But they said that he needed a CT scan and asked us to take him to a higher centre,” said Sharma.
On taking the victim to Venketeshwara hospital six kilometres away, the family was asked to deposit ₹2 lakh for treatment. Sharma is unemployed, the accident victim was a second-year BA student, and his father a driver.
“We do not have a lot of money. We had heard about the government scheme and so thought the treatment will be free. The hospital said that the scheme was not applicable as we had gone to another hospital before. We somehow borrowed the money from relatives and friends for the scan,” he said.
According to the scheme, free treatment should be provided to the patient, provided they are brought or referred or transferred to a private hospital within 72 hours of the incident, irrespective of whether he or she was earlier undergoing treatment in a government or private hospital.
“This will be an example for other hospitals that the government is very serious about implementing the scheme. The CM has taken a strict view of the matter. Besides, the hospitals are bound by Supreme Court judgement to provide emergency care to accident victims. On top of that, the government is paying the hospitals for the cost of treatment. The hospitals should not have a problem,” said a senior Delhi government official, on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi Nursing Homes Registration (Ammendemtn) Rules, 2011 under which hospitals are given registration also states that the hospitals and nursing homes shall not refuse treatment to injured or serious patient for any reason.