NHRC show cause notice to the Union Labour & Employment Ministry in a case of death of a Covid patient due to negligence of an ESI hospital in Delhi

New Delhi, 26th October, 2021

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has issued a notice to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour & Employment to show cause why it should not recommend Rs. 2 lakh as monetary relief to the next of kin of a Covid-19 patient, who died due to medical negligence of ESI hospital in Delhi.

He has also been directed to enquire the matter and submit reports as under:

Is Covid-19 negative report is pre-requisite for getting treatment at ESIC hospital?

Why the doctors including CMO/Superintendent were not aware about any of the tie-up hospital (the doctors took three days to find the hospital) where the patient could have been referred?

Why the patient was not checked up/treated by the emergency duty medical officer and kept asking to come in morning hours?

Earlier, on the basis of the material on record, the Commission found that there was gross negligence in treatment/referral by the doctors at ESI hospital, Jhilmil, Delhi, which caused delay in the treatment of the patient leading to his death. The Commission observed that this act of negligence violated the Right to Health and Right to Life of the victim under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The complainant had alleged that his father was seriously ill and was suspected of having COVID-19 infection. The ESI hospital in Jhilmil, Delhi kept referring to him from one government hospital to another, without admitting in emergency ward, or providing treatment. The hospital did not refer to him to even a private hospital attached with ESI timely, where he could get a bed and timely treatment.