NHRC notice to Telengana for refusing treatment to HIV patient
The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a 14 year old boy, whose parents are not alive, diagnosed with full-blown Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was made to shuttle between four State run hospitals for treatment within a period of 24 hours along with his aged grandmother.
It has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Telangana calling for a report in the matter within six weeks.
The Commission has observed that the story indicates towards the lack of infrastructure and coordination among different government run health care centres.
The boy, who could be under trauma being an AIDS patient and his aged grandmother have suffered due to the callous and insensible attitude of the hospitals. Instead of initiating treatment of the patient, they made them run from one hospital to the other in the name of jurisdiction and non-availability of the different facilities.
According to the media report, carried on the 25th January, 2017, the boy, who was undergoing treatment at NIMS hospital for two weeks, was referred to Niloufer Hospital for Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) as the same facility is not available at the NIMS. He was denied admission at Nioufer Hospital on the ground that they do not take children aged over 12 years. He was directed to the Osmania General Hospital (OGH), where no help was forthcoming.
Reportedly, some volunteers arranged the overnight stay of the boy and his grandmother in the hospitals corridors. The next morning, the doctors in the OPD refused to see the boy and referred him to an ART Centre at Chest Hospital in Erragadda, where the Doctors again referred him to OGH to undergo a liver function test besides, getting an expert opinion from Gastroenterologist, before the treatment could not be initiated.
The Superintendent of the NIMS hospital has, reportedly, confirmed that they do not take children aged beyond 12 years. Dr. Vinod Kumar, a physician at ART Centre has stated that treatment was not refused. He has explained that since this is a Chest Hospital, the drug regimen cannot be started without getting an expert opinion from a Gastroenterologist which is available only at OGH.