Stringent action if docs avoid AIDS patients: Centre tells SC

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) The Union government today informed the Supreme Court that it has issued statutory orders to all government and private hospitals, doctors and paramedical staff across the country to provide free tretment to HIV positive patients and treat them with dignity.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam also informed a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Ashok Bhan and P Sathasivam that refusal to give treatment to an HIV positive patient will be viewed very seriously and strict punitive actions shall be taken against the erring hospitals, Doctor or paramedical staff.

The apex court then issued notices to all the states and directed them to inform it within four months, whether they have implemented a directive by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) on August 26 this year.

The government also told the court during the hearing of PIL filed by an NGO Sahara House that statutory orders say '' No doctor or nurse shall refuse to treat any HIV positive patient on account of his/her positive status.

Such refusal should be viewed very seriously and the order provide for strict punitive action.'' The government also submitted that directions have been issued for announcing basic health infrastructure and medical facilities for such patients. And they should be treated in a provisional and humane manner.

Only last month an HIV positive patient from Patna had approached the apex court seeking directions to the authorities to supply him ARV drugs free of cost.

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