Human rights panel lashes out at hospitals for denial of treatment

The Kerala State Human Rights Commission on Monday came down heavily on hospitals in the State for denying medical care to some patients in the name of COVID treatment.

Citing an incident in which a patient was denied cataract surgery at both the Kozhikode District General Hospital and the Kozhikode Government Medical College, judicial member of the Commission P. Mohanadas pointed out that denying critical treatment and surgeries in the name of COVID-19 was against the government order in this regard, as well as violation of basic rights provided by the Constitution.

The Commission has sought a report on the incident from the Health Secretary, the District Medical Officer and the Superintendent of the Government Medical College within two weeks.

In another case in which a private hospital in Kannur denied treatment to a patient who was in critical condition due to low blood count, the Commission has sought report from the Revenue Divisional Officer, the District Medical Officer, the District Social Justice Officer, the Inspector of Police, and the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital within two weeks.

The incident took place on November 3. Geeta, a teacher, was denied treatment after Blood Donors Kerala president and complainant V.P. Sajith rushed her to the hospital.

As per the complaint, the treatment was initially delayed due to the COVID-19 test. When COVID test turned negative, she was asked for Aadhaar card.

The hospital later told that she could be admitted only if the patient had close relatives.

The patient, who had no close relative in the district, was finally admitted to the hospital after other’s intervention. The Commission said that only if the Kerala Clinical Establishment Registration and Regulation Act passed by the Assembly is implemented in the State, the exploitation and negative attitude of private hospitals against patients can be prevented.

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