Take action on hospitals not admitting acid attack victims: DCW

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New Delhi, Nov 2: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has written to Delhi Health Ministry recommending punitive action against two hospitals, including a government facility, for allegedly not adhering to Supreme Court's directive to admit acid attack victims.

The Commission has recommended punitive action against the hospitals including registration of FIR under Section 357 (assault or criminal force in attempt wrongfully to confine a person) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Swati Maliwal

"I would like to bring to your kind attention this particular case where two prominent hospitals of Delhi, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and Army Research and Referral Hospital refused treatment to an acid attack victim.

Subsequent to the intervention of the DCW and the Nodal Officer for acid attack victims of the Health Department, Dr R N Das, the victim is now being treated properly in Apollo Hospital," said DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal in her letter to Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

"However, it is clear that hospitals admit an acid attack victim only after considerable pressure is put on them. This case is a serious dereliction of orders of the Supreme Court. The inaction of the two hospitals, may have led to considerable worsening of the victim's condition and could have posed a direct threat to her life," she added.

"In light of this, I recommend you to immediately take punitive action against these hospitals," Maliwal said as she asked Jain to provide an intimation to the Commission on the action taken at the earliest.

DCW had earlier issued show cause notices to both the hospitals after receiving a complaint from the brother of the acid attack victim. 

Referring to the March 14 meeting, during which it was decided that full medical assistance should be provided to acid attack victims and that private hospitals will offer them free treatment, DCW noted that there is some reluctance on the part of some private facilities to do so and thus concerned officers in the state government should take up the matter with them.

"Although it is not made clear in the meeting held on March 14, what we understand by free medical treatment is not only provisions of physical treatment to the victims of acid attack but also availability of medicines, bed and food in the concerned hospital for them.

"We, therefore, issue a direction that the state governments or Union Territories should seriously take up the matter with all the private hospitals so that they do not refuse treatment to acid attack victims and that full treatment including medicines, food, bedding and reconstructive surgeries is provided to them," Maliwal said.

PTI

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