HIV Positive Man Abused, Denied Treatment At Govt Hospital After Accident; Delhi HC Orders Enquiry

HIV Positive Man Abused, Denied Treatment At Govt Hospital After Accident; Delhi HC Orders Enquiry

The Delhi High Court has ordered an enquiry into the allegations of an HIV positive man who said he was abused and denied treatment at two hospitals in Delhi after he met with an accident last year for alleged non-disclosure of his HIV status.

A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice AK Chawla said the case highlighted blatant discrimination.

In the instant case, the appellant, who has been identified as Hxxx moved the court in appeal through advocate Sija Nair Pal of Human Rights Law Network.

He told the court that he has been a person living with HIV and is on highly active anti-retroviral treatment for the past 25 years.

Last year, in August, he met with an accident at work and suffered injuries in his leg and shoulder.

When he went to the orthopaedic department of Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital, he was verbally abused by the doctor for not disclosing his HIV status and was referred to OPD department for first aid where a plaster was put on his leg due to which he developed blisters and there was a possibility of gangrene and any delay might have resulted in amputation of the limb.

The appellant sent a representation to the medical superintendent and a copy to the Chief Minister. He was then referred to Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Hospital where also he was denied proper treatment.

Ultimately, he had to undergo treatment at a private hospital where he incurred expenses of over Rs 1.5 lakh.

He then moved the high court seeking reimbursement of medical bills by Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Hospital and Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital but the single judge disposed of his plea which he challenged in the instant appeal.  Advocate Sija said, "The court has now ordered an independent committee of the Medical Superintendents of the Respondent Hospitals, Director General of Health Services, GNCT of Delhi, Principal Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare, one representative from National Aids Control Organisation etc. The committee has to be formed within 2 weeks and a report has to be given to the Appellant within 3 months thereafter.

"Liberty has been given to Appellant to take proper recourse of law in case he is not satisfied with the report.