Will govt act against the hospitals?
Imphal: Despite government’s strict orders to treat all patients equally regardless of COVID-19 positive or not, a 21 year old female patient died on Monday after she was reportedly denied treatment by two private hospital in Imphal.
The deceased female has been identified as Laishram (O) Sandhya, wife of Laishram Roshan @ Naoba of Wangjing Wangkhei, Thoubal District.
Following previous related incidents, the government had ordered that all government and private hospitals will treat all patients, COVID-19 positive or not, equally. However, with the incident repeated again, a big question worth asking is are the hospitals intentionally trying to disobey the order notice by the Principal Secretary of Health Department to treat patients at the hospital including emergency cases? The order had come after the incident of the hospital failing to treat a pregnant female for delivery on August 6, 2020.
According to family members, Sandhya was one her monthly period and Monday was the fifth day, but in the afternoon she had excess non-stop bleeding and was first treated by a nurse of their locality.
However, her condition became critical and was brought for treatment at a hospital in Imphal and at around 5:45 PM she was taken to Lamjingba Hospital and Research Centre in Lamphel. But the hospital denied treating her stating they do not take emergency related cases nor treat any patients, the family said.
Then, she was taken to Imphal Hospital hoping that they will treat her, but she was denied treatment with the staff saying there was no Doctor to treat her, the family members maintained.
Feeling hopeless she was taken to Shija Hospital where the doctors declared her ‘brought dead’ to the hospital, the family members said.
One may recall that last week, on August 6, a pregnant woman died untimely after she was refused treatment by 5 different hospitals in Imphal and since the unfortunate incident, people across the state have been expressing disappointment about the government and the hospitals with even some calling for resignation of Health Minister.
Due to such negligence on the part of the hospitals or refusal to admit patients, at least five patients have lost their lives in about a fortnight.
Following that August 6, 2020 incident, Principal Secretary of Health Department V. Vumlunmang had, on the same day, issued an order that all government and private hospitals to ensure that all patients who reach their facility are attended to promptly, especially emergency and time bound cases. Each hospital/health facility shall designate responsible staff to ensure there is no denial of services, the order said adding that any violator will be viewed very severely and action will be taken under the Manipur Nursing Home & Clinical Registration Act. 1992 and action may also be taken under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 for failure to comply with directions of the State Government.
The State health Department has also announced a 24 hour toll free number to contact if any hospital denied services.”
However, it appears that the order of the government has fallen on deaf ears of hospitals.
So, will the government take action against the hospitals for going against the orders and refusing admission to the patients?
It is also worth noting that organisations have called for strict action against such hospitals that refuses to admit patients.