23 July 2010
By Utkarsh anand
New Delhi, India
THE Delhi Government has told the High Court that there is no government hospital in the city which can provide maintenance dialysis to HIV positive patients. As if this was not bad enough, the affidavit says there are no private hospitals either where they could receive the treatment.
The court had earlier asked the government how many government hospitals could help HIV patients, especially those belonging to the poor strata of the society, get the treatment. Justice S Muralidhar had also wanted to know whether it was possible to have a “referral system” so that patients could be referred to a private hospital obligated to provide free beds to the poor.
The government affidavit, however, disclosed that while the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital has a functioning haemodialysis unit, it did not have trained staff to deal with HIV positive patients.
Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital provided dialysis, but not the maintenance dialysis needed by HIV positive patients in aseptic conditions. In its response, the Central government said two of its hospitals, AIIMS and Safdarjung, had the facility, but that was certainly not adequate keeping in view the persistent dialysis requirements of the patients and the number of such patients in the city.
Unhappy with the state's response, Justice Muralidhar asked the government if it could have a system where the patients could be sent to any of the 39 private hospitals established on land given on concession or under joint venture agreements with the government. After enquiring with the hospitals, the government submitted another affidavit which says none of them were in a position to help HIV patients get maintenance dialysis.
Significantly, most of the private hospitals completely ruled out the possibility of having the system, saying it was “not feasible” to have dialysis for the poor. Apollo, the only private hospital with the facility, clearly said “it was not possible to accommodate any more patients”.
Justice Muralidhar said this indicates a dismal picture as regards availability of mainte nance dialysis facilities to HIV positive patients and asked the Centre to convene a meeting with the Delhi Health Secretary and the medical superintendents of major hospitals in the Capital and work out an action plan within three weeks. The authorities have been asked to draft a report on the proposed plan by then and submit it in the court by August 12.
The matter came to light after a relative of an HIV positive patient filed a PIL in court alleging they were facing acute problems because of lack of maintenance dialysis facility in city hospitals.
Saturday, Jan 21st
Last update:05:44:44 AM IST