The National Human Rights Commission has issued a warning to the Odisha Health Secretary for personal appearance as the State government failed to submit its response in the case of transfusion of HIV-infected blood in a government-run hospital.
Human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy had moved the NHRC highlighting that two elderly patients were transfused with HIV and hepatitis inflected blood in Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (VIMSAR), Burla, in 2016.
As the alleged negligence of doctors had put the life of two patients in grave danger, Mr. Tripathy sought an independent probe into both the cases and punitive action. He had also requested the NHRC to award a hefty compensation to both the patients.
A 70-year-old person hailing from Rairakhol was admitted to the surgery ward of VIMSAR on June 9, 2016. He had undergone operation on June 13, 2016. Due to non-availability of blood units, a relative’s blood was transfused. Later, tests revealed that it was HIV infected.
Similarly, a 60-year-old person of Brajarajnagar was admitted to the hospital on June 12, 2016 for a leg surgery. After blood transfusion, it was revealed that the blood was hepatitis-infected.
The NHRC noted that despite its directions, no reports were provided by the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary, and the government through a lower-rung officers sought additional two months’ time to respond.
The Commission directed its registry to send a copy of the proceedings to the authorities concerned for filing requisite reports within six weeks. “The Chief Secretary has not submitted the requisite reply. Further, the Health Secretary has also not submitted the status of the departmental action taken against the delinquent officers along with the status of condition of the two patients so far,” the apex rights body pointed out.
The Commission has issued a fresh show-cause notice to the Odisha Chief Secretary as to why it should not grant a monetary compensation of ₹1 lakh each to next of kin of the two victims in six weeks positively.
“Issue reminder to the State Health Secretary to submit the requisite report regarding departmental action taken against the delinquent officers within the said period failing which the Commission may invoke coercive process u/s 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for personal appearance of the authority concerned,” the NHRC order says.