NHRC finds doctors at three Government Hospitals in Delhi negligent behind the death of a young man; in the wake of proposed disciplinary proceedings against them by DGHS, recommends payment of Rs.2 lakh as relief to the victim's family (21.03.2018)
New Delhi, 21st March, 2018
The National Human Right Commission has found the doctors at the three Delhi Government Hospitals negligent in not providing proper treatment to a 22 year old young man resulting in his death late in the night on 12th June, 2017. In the wake of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against them by the Director General of Health Services, DGHS, Delhi, it has recommended that the Government of NCT of Delhi pay Rs. 2 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.
The commission has called for a compliance report along with the proof of payment within six weeks, failing which, coercive steps under sec.13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 may be initiated against the concerned authorities of the Delhi Government.
The commission's directions have come after the Delhi Government. failed to respond to its notice to show cause why the victim's family should not be recommended to be paid monetary relief when an expert panel of doctors, set up by its own DGHS had found that the doctors, at Hedgewar Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, handled the patient in a casual manner and referred him to the other hospitals without confirming the availability of the facilities and services due to which the patient's life was lost.
The incident of medical apathy was reported in the media on the 17th June, 2017 and the Commission, expressing serious concern over it, had taken suo motu cognizance of the same and issued notices to the authorities in the Centre and the Delhi Government, calling for reports. They included Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Chief Secretary Government of NCT, Delhi. The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry had responded by saying that the matter concerned the Delhi Government, as the hospitals were under it.
According to the media report, the victim Ankur, an autorickshaw driver by profession, complained of pain in chest in the afternoon of 12th June 2017, coupled with difficulty in breathing. An ambulance was called by the family and he was taken to the Hedgewar Hospital where he was administered some glucose bottles and referred to the Guru Teg Bahadur, GTB Hospital.
At the GTB hospital, the patient was kept in the Emergency Ward for three hours but no medical treatment was provided to him. The brother of the patient again, called the police by dialing number 100; the patient was admitted in the hospital but after sometime, he was referred to Rajiv Gandhi Hospital at Tahirpur, where he was taken by the family members, in the late night. Here too, he was kept for four hours and later his family was told that the doctors are not available. The patient was again referred to the Safdarjung Hospital where he could not reach and died on the way to hospital.
The family members of the victim have alleged that they took the patient to the hospital well in time, even then, the doctors instead of providing treatment, kept on referring him from one hospital to the other. They had alleged that had the treatment been provided by the doctors, in time, the life of the victim could have been saved.