Delhi HC asks hospital to provide dialysis to poor patient

The Delhi High Court, while issuing notice to the Centre on the plea of a daily wage labourer suffering from total kidney failure, has asked a city based hospital to provide him hemodialysis and other medical facilities.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 26, 2015, 18:20 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, while issuing notice to the Centre on the plea of a daily wage labourer suffering from total kidney failure, has asked a city based hospital to provide him hemodialysis and other medical facilities.

Nagender Prasad, 29, was denied treatment due to insufficient contribution to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) fund. He was on regular hemodialysis since 2012, and was getting it done at Bhagwati hospital here thrice a week as an ESIC-insured patient.

However, from Feb 1, the hospital discontinued his treatment saying his contributions to the ESIC were not sufficient.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher sought a response from ESIC and the ministry of labour and employment and Bhagwati Hospital by April 7.

In its order Wednesday, the court said: "This is a matter which would require the examination, especially, given the circumstances, that the petitioner (Prasad) is a daily wage worker who, it appears, was unable to go to work on account of his illness. Evidently, in turn, failure to join work has led to discontinuation of contribution with ESIC."

"In a sense, one set of circumstance is feeding on to the other. Therefore what requires consideration is whether the medical facility by an empanelled hospital can be stopped mid-way in such circumstances," it added.

The court asked the hospital to inform it about the steps taken by it on the issue. The Centre also has to ascertain whether the necessary medical facilities can be provided to Prasad at a government-run hospital.

"In the meanwhile, Bhagwati Hospital will provide necessary medical facilities, including hemodialysis to the petitioner," the court added.

Advocate Ashok Agarwal, who appeared for Prasad, argued that ESIC "cannot legally midway withdraw the treatment to him leaving him to die."

"The petitioner is legally entitled to medical cover from the ESIC and the arbitrary withdrawal of the sanction for treatment amounts to violation of his statutory right as an insured person under the ESI Act, 1948, as well as his fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," said the plea.