17 November 2010
By Pritha Chatterjee
A PATIENT on first line treatment for AIDS at the Thane Civil Hospital’s Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) clinic has lodged a complaint against a medical officer for demanding a bribe of Rs 5,000 for his second course of medicines.
The written complaint, available with Newsline, was submitted to JJ Hospital’s ART centre last week. "The patient tested HIV positive. Since he is from
Chembur, the Thane clinic would be closer to him. Hence, we referred him to the ART centre there,"said a senior doctor of JJ Hospital. She said the hospital had asked the patient for a written complaint as he has been already registered at Thane hospital for AIDS treatment.
The patient in his complaint stated that he had taken his first dose a month ago from Thane civil hospital, and returned as asked to, a month later for the second dose. But the medical officer on duty asked him for Rs 5000, to which he reportedly said
he knew that ART was free i government hospitals.
He state that the doctor then asked him t wait outside. He said he trie asking the pharmacist for th medicines, but he was told tha none could be given without th doctor's prescription. He allege after waiting from 10AM to PM, he again went to the doctor but he again demanded th money. The patient says he the approached JJ Hospital.
The patient told Newslin that he had written whatever h had to say in his complaint "There is nothing I wish to add I hope I am allowed to complete my treatment at JJ Hospital. I don’t want to return to the Thane hospital." A doctor at rhe JJ Hospital’s ART clinic said, "His wife was also diagnosed with AIDS, and she was treated here. When he came here, he told us he knew about our hospital, since his wife completed her treatment here".
The written complaint was forwarded to Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS) on Monday by JJ Hospital authorites. Project director of MSACS Ramesh Deokar
said,"We will look into the complaint and necessary action will be initiated."
Every ART centre has two medical officers and a civil surgeon on duty. The patient does not specify the doctor's name in his complaint. When Newsline contacted the Thane Civil Hospital's ART centre, the senior medical officer on duty, Dr.
Kulkarni, said, "No such patient has come to me and neither have we received any formal intimation of such a complaint. If there is any inquiry initiated, we welcome it."
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