The NHRC on Friday issued a notice to the Haryana government over reports that a general hospital in Panipat is allegedly working without any paediatrician and ventilator. Reportedly, the hospital has been "functioning without any paediatrician for the past two months" while it is mandatory to have a paediatrician and two doctors on round-the-clock duty. There are only four nurses posted against the required strength of eight, an official statement said. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has observed that the content of the media report are "disheartening" and, if true, amount to violation of human rights.
"The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that the special neonatal care unit (SNCU) at the general hospital in Panipat is working without any paediatrician and ventilator," the rights panel said in a statement. Three neonates died on Monday, while 33 had died in 2018. Last year saw the unit virtually turn into a referral centre with 351 neonates being referred to other hospitals due to the lack of amenities, the NHRC said, quoting the report.
The commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary seeking a detailed report in four weeks. "Proper medical care is one of the basic human rights and the state is bound to protect the life of the poor babies as most of the patients who approach the government hospitals, are from weaker sections of the society and they cannot afford costly treatment at private hospitals," the commission said.
According to the report, carried Friday, the paediatrician-cum-incharge of the SNCU was suspended in connection with a criminal case last year while the other paediatrician is on child care leave.
"There are three doctors who are supervising the work. They have been appointed on contract basis. The doctors find it from difficult for them to provide proper care to the newly born babies due to non-availability of any paediatrician in the hospital," it said.
The doctors have reportedly stated that they have no option but to refer serious patients to other hospital, the statement said.