Friday August 17, 2018

Delhi High Court seeks response from AIIMS for denying treatment

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Saturday came to the rescue of a  destitute woman, who was allegedly denied free treatment of total hip replacement surgery by the AIIMS. The court sought response from the Central government and AIIMS authorities.

Asha Devi, 35, a resident of Bihar, moved the high court after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) asked her to deposit in advance Rs 1,27,000 for the treatment.

Justice Manmohan also issued notice to the Bihar government as to why the poor patients were not getting free treatment in Bihar itself and were forced to seek medical help in Delhi.

The court also directed the medical superintendent/director of AIIMS to get Asha Devi examined and file a status report on or before the next date of hearing, February 19.

AIIMS refused to perform a total hip replacement surgery on Asha Devi for Reiter’s Disease, on account of her inability to pay the hefty cost of the surgery, said the plea.

Asha Devi belongs to the lower strata of the society and said the Centre refused to bear the expenses of the treatment required by her, thereby, violating her human and fundamental right to life as guaranteed to her under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, advocate Ashok Agarwal, appearing for Devi, told the court.

“Every person is entitled to equality before law and equal protection of law. Also, no person can be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Thus, the state is bound to protect life and liberty of every human being,” he further contended.

Asha Devi is an illiterate married woman and her husband is 100 percent hearing-impaired and unemployed. They have four children — three of whom are attending government school in Bihar. Her father-in-law works as an agriculture labourer and earns an average of Rs.5-6 thousand a month. The family has no other source of income, said the plea.

Around six months back, she was advised by a doctor in Bihar to approach AIIMS for treatment.

Accordingly, she approached AIIMS on December 16, 2015, where doctors advised total hip replacement surgery for her.

AIIMS asked her to deposit the hefty amount towards the cost of implants. Thereafter, she made a written representation on January 19 to the hospital and the central government requesting that she be provided totally free treatment as she belongs to the economically-weaker section and lives in abject poverty.

The plea added that she possesses income certificate dated December 19, 2015 from the government of Bihar indicating annual income of Rs.70,000, and National Food Security Card which is issued to a person having less than Rs.1 lakh annual income.

The hospital refused to provide her free treatment saying she should have an income certificate below Rs.4,000 per month income or a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card — Devi does not possess either.

She said her condition was continuing to deteriorate each day and she needed immediate surgery.(IANS)

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Cabinet Approves Plan to Set-Up 20 AIIMS

The construction of new AIIMS will be fully funded by the Central government. It will also bear the operations and maintenance expenses of these facilities.

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AIIMS Rishikesh, wikimedia commons

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a plan to set up 20 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) across the country, six of which have already been established, and to upgrade 73 medical colleges.

The decisions are part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), which has been extended by two years till 2020, with a financial outlay of Rs 14,832 crore, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters while briefing on the cabinet decisions.

“Under this (PMSSY), we are going to set up 20 AIIMS in the country, six have already been established, and would upgrade 73 medical colleges. This is a historic decision,” said the Union Law and Information Technology Minister.

The construction of new AIIMS will be fully funded by the Central government. It will also bear the operations and maintenance expenses of these facilities.
Narendra Modi, wikimedia commons

The decision to extend the PMSSY was aimed to meet the shortfall in healthcare professionals and facilities across the country.

“Setting up of new AIIMS would not only transform health education and training but also address the shortfall of healthcare professionals in the region… Setting up of new AIIMS in various states will lead to employment generation for nearly 3,000 people in various faculty and non-faculty posts in each of the AIIMS,” said an official statement.

The construction of new AIIMS will be fully funded by the Central government. It will also bear the operations and maintenance expenses of these facilities.

The upgradation programme broadly envisages improving health infrastructure through construction of super specialty blocks, trauma centres and others, according to the statement.

Also Read: Finally, Chhota Rajan Found Guilty for Dey’s Murder

The procurement of medical equipment for existing as well as new facilities will be done on sharing basis by both Central and state governments.

“PMSSY was started during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to provide quality healthcare in remote areas as it’s not right to put all the pressure on AIIMS in Delhi. There were talks of setting up six AIIMS. But what happened in the next 10 years is for all to see,” said Prasad. (IANS)