South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Reprimanding the Uttar Pradesh government for not being able to ensure the right to life, the NHRC on Monday issued a notice to the state authorities over reports of medical apathy towards two pregnant women in Noida.

“The news reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights as the state authorities have failed to ensure right to life and medical care to its citizens,” the NHRC said in its letter to the Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh.

The panel asked the state Chief Secretary to file a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks and also inform the commission about the action taken against the delinquent doctors/officials. “The Commission would like to know from the State Government whether any Standard Operating Procedure has been issued by it to the hospitals to deal with the current scenario, if yes, all the concerned shall be asked for strict compliance so that lives of the people coming to the hospitals in emergency for treatment of illnesses other than Covid-19, could also be saved,” NHRC said. 

It is understood that amid the spread of coronavirus, the hospitals are receiving a very large number of patients and there is a shortage of infrastructure but the denial to attend to the patients is a matter of concern, the NHRC said.  The commission has also sent copies of the press clippings to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to look into the matter and issue-specific instructions to all states and UTs that people coming to the hospitals in emergency for treatment of illness other than COVID-19 are not denied medical treatment and critical support

The news reports that the human rights commission referred to were about the death of an eight-month pregnant woman in an ambulance in UP’s Gautam Buddha Nagar. The victim is said to have died after 13 hours of searching, without success, for a bed in the district’s hospitals. The family of 30-year-old Neelam claimed that she and her husband Vijender Singh, 30, had knocked the doors of eight hospitals, including government hospitals, before she died in an ambulance outside a facility in Greater Noida on June 6. The woman, a resident of Khoda colony on the Noida-Ghaziabad border, was undergoing treatment at Shivalik Hospital, a private facility for pregnancy-related complications.

The other news report was about a woman delivering a still-born child on a pavement outside a hospital which had allegedly refused to attend to her. The family of the 26-year-old woman has reportedly alleged that had she got timely treatment, her child could have survived. A resident of a COVID-19 containment zone, Poonam was taken to the district hospital at around 9:30 pm on Thursday after she went into labour pain. Her husband who is a daily wage labourer alleged that the hospital authorities refused to admit her on the pretext that she had gone to a midwife during her gestation.

On Sunday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had hit out at the UP government over the matter.


Updated On: 08th June 2020