Panel to look into ‘abuse’ of an HIV+ patient by 2 govt hospitals in Delhi
Delhi high court termed the behaviour of the two government hospitals as ‘blatant discrimination’. The hospitals allegedly abused an AIDS patient for not revealing his HIV positive status.Updated: May 10, 2018 08:20 IST
Terming it as a “blatant discrimination”, the Delhi High Court frowned upon the behaviour of two government hospitals, who had allegedly abused an AIDS patient for not revealing his HIV positive status after he went there for treatment following an accident.
A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice AK Chawla directed the AAP government to constitute an enquiry panel comprising the medical superintendent of the hospitals and one representative each from the health Department and National Aids Control Organisation (NACO).
The court directed that the committee be constituted within two weeks and submit its report within three months on the plea which had challenged a single-judge’s order where he had gone to seek reimbursements of the expenses that he had incurred due to the treatment taken at the private hospital.
The single judge, in October last year, had declined to pass any order in the favour of the petitioner stating that it involved disputed questions of fact.
Following this, he filed an appeal through advocate Sija Nair Pal, which contended that he had faced discrimination by Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) and Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial hospitals and their doctors concerned for their denial of treatment.
According to the plea, the patient had suffered an accident on August 9, 2017 following which he went to Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital. However, one doctor Rajesh abused him for not revealing his HIV status and also referred him to the OPD department where he was given first aid treatment and his leg was plastered by them leading to formation of blisters and a possibility of development of gangrene.
On August 30, 2017, the patient was referred for treatment to LNJP hospital due to non-availability of implants at Babu Jagjivan Ram. However, even LNJP failed to provide any treatment even though the referral slip mentioned the need of immediate surgery and discharged him after giving only first aid treatment and raw plaster.
Following this, he got himself treated at a private hospital while refused by several others because of his HIV status.
The bench said that initially the man may not have disclosed his condition, but it was “inconceivable that being an AIDS patient for 23 years he would have withheld the information, especially when it would have long term detrimental consequences for him”.
It disposed off the plea while seeking to know from the hospitals and Delhi government about their approach in dealing with such cases.