Sunday, May 4, 2008

“My father bled, no one came to help”

8 Apr 2008, 0241 hrs IST , TNN

NEW DELHI: Forty-seven-year-old Arun Gupta, a businessman who was shot in the neck, died of his injuries after battling for life for nearly three hours on Monday morning. In fact, his son, Harshal, has alleged that the first hour — considered to be the golden hour for such victims — was spent in rushing him from one hospital to another which turned him down though a prominent hospital has denied any such incident.

According to two SC judgments, no doctor or hospital can deny life-saving emergency treatment to a patient. In two landmark judgments — Parmanand Katara vs Union of India and Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samiti vs State of West Bengal — the Supreme Court upheld every person's right to life. In Parmanand Katara Vs Union of India, the victim was seriously injured in a road accident and was in need of immediate treatment. As it was a medico-legal case, most hospitals refused to treat him until police arrived. The victim later died of his injuries.

In the second case, one Hakim Shaikh, a member of the Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samiti, fell off a train and suffered serious head injuries and haemorrhage. He was taken to more than eight medical institutions, where he was refused admission either on grounds of lack of facilities or of no vacancy. It was only the next day that he received treatment.

"In Parmanand's case, Supreme Court held that all doctors — both in government and private — have a professional obligation to treat emergency cases to protect life. In the Paschim Banga case, the SC held that lack of financial resources couldn't be a reason to deny treatment. It is every patient's right to get emergency treatment," said Ashok Aggarwal, a lawyer in Delhi High Court.

Agrees Dr Dilpreet Brar, chief administrator, Max Healthcare: "No hospital can deny treatment to an emergency case. The patient has to be given basic life-saving treatment. The patient is first treated and we start the MLC procedure side by side."

"Most accident cases are brought either by police or a third party and maximum cases come to government hospitals. Though no hospital can deny treatment to an emergency case, some hospitals are reluctant in taking MLC cases due to various financial reasons," said Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent, AIIMS.

So if someone like Gupta is in need of surgery and is not accompanied by any relative or police, would the hospital take him for surgery? "Yes, if the surgery is needed to save his life...The MLC proceedings are started simultaneously," said Dr Rajeev Malhotra, vice-president, medical services, Rockland Hospital.



1 comment:

Uday Agnihotri said...

This is an eye opening revelation. So many times the poor people are denied the emergency treatment in private hospitals , on the grounds that they can't pay the fees of the hospital. I will try to inform the poor people of my area about this fact.
Thanks. Keep this good work (of informing the people) going