'Why was treatment denied to 14-yr-old cancer patient?' Delhi Minister to Chief Secy

by IANS |

New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj has taken cognizance of the death of a 14-year-old girl, and asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to respond within four weeks as to why treatment was denied to the patient.

Kumar heads the governing council that manages Delhi State Cancer Institute (DSCI).

As per the Delhi government sources, Bharadwaj also ordered a probe to inquire as to why the 14-year-old patient battling blood cancer was denied bed or treatment in the hospitals -- AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital and Delhi State Cancer Institute.

Citing a news report Bharadwaj, a source said that a girl battling blood cancer lost her battle of life and the family alleged that they kept wandering in hospitals with the child for 10 days but could not find a bed.

The source said that the Minister in his letter to the Chief Secretary pointed out that out of the three hospitals which refused bed to the victim, AIIMS Delhi is governed by AIIMS Act 1956 and operates autonomously under MOHFW, Safdarjung Hospital is owned and run by MoHFW and DSCI, a society hospital being managed administered and controlled by the governing council headed by Delhi Chief Secretary.

The source said that Bhardwaj also on three occasions, since August this year, had sought action-taken reports from the chief secretary on complaints of shortage of medicines, lack of testing facilities and staff at DSCI, but there was no response.

"Till date, you have not replied to any of the orders and there is no visible change in the state of affairs in the DSCI," the source said, referring to Bharadwaj's letter.

In his notice, the source said that Bharadwaj has mentioned that "as Chief Secretary you are the chairperson of the Governing Council of DSCI. "Further recruitment of doctors and paramedics comes under the aegis of the services department and the head of the services department reports to you," the source said referring to Bharadwaj letter.

"You are again requested to use your good office as Chief Secretary Delhi and chairperson Governing Council of DSCI to ensure that the vacant posts of doctors and paramedics are filled at the earliest and the requisite medicines and equipment are made available or functional in a time-bound manner.

"Further, an inquiry may be conducted as to why the 14 year old girl battling blood cancer was denied bed or treatment in the hospital namely AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital and DSCI."

The source also said that the Minister also said that it may be confirmed whether the control rooms operated by DGHS, Delhi government and central government had requisite information with regard to availability of beds in their respective hospitals during the last four months and also whether the information was displayed on the web portal of the hospitals.

"The inquiry report will be provided within four weeks," the source added.

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