Delhi High Court (V.P.Vaish Vacation Judge) yesterday (03.06.2015) issued notices to ESIC, Govt. of India, Ministry of Labour and Dharamshila Hospital on denial of free treatment to 17 year old Soumaya Ranjan suffering from Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, a form of Cancer. Soumaya’s father, an ESIC-insured person, Basant Kumar (M-8587983741), had filed petition through Advocate Ashok Agarwal in the High Court against ESIC for its refusal to make referral to empanelled Dharamshila Hospital for treatment of his son and also against Dharamshila Hospital for arbitrary denial of treatment.
Since Soumaya was critical, he was discharged by ESI Hospital, Basai Darapur, on 23.05.2015 and referred to AIIMS/ESIC empanelled Hospital. Basant Kumar on 25.05.2015 approached Dharamshila Hospital, which is empanelled with ESIC, but in the absence of a specific referral letter from ESIC addressed to Dharamshila Hospital, Dharamshila Hospital denied treatment. The ESIC, on the other hand, refused to issue the requisite referral letter. The patient was lying outside Dharamshila Hospital since 25.05.2015, awaiting treatment.
Advocates Ashok Agarwal & Anuj Agarwal appearing for the patient Soumaya told the Court that though Dharamshila Hospital registered the patient with them on 25.05.2015, but refused to admit him despite his very serious condition saying that "you first bring referral-letter from the ESIC”. It continued till 30.05.2015 when upon intervention by EWS Beds Monitoring Committee Members Advocate Ashok Agarwal and Dr. R.N Das, the patient was admitted by Dharamshila Hospital under EWS category. "On 02 June 2015, while the patient was in the ICU of Dharamshila Hospital and his removal therefrom could have endangered his life, against all medical norms and professional ethics, Dharamshila Hospital took the patient to ESIC Hospital at Noida in its Ambulance just to obtain the referral-letter from the ESIC. It is a very serious matter and this Hon’ble Court may call for explanation from the ESIC and Dharamshila Hospital," urged Mr. Agarwal.
Adv. Ashok Agarwal also submitted, "Notwithstanding ESIC referral, Dharamshila Hospital being one of the identified hospitals on public land is obliged to provide free treatment to EWS patients to the extent of 10% IPD and 25% OPD. It is unfortunate that despite having 18 out of 20 free beds vacant, Dharamshila Hospital did not admit Soumaya from 25.05.2015 till 30.05.2015 and insisted upon bringing referral-letter from ESIC. The said delay on the part of Dharamshila worsened the condition of the patient."
Next date of hearing is 10.06.2015.
ASHOK AGARWAL, ADVOCATE