Orissa High Court
Orissa High Court
Litigation News

Man dies after hospital refuses dialysis treatment allegedly citing lack of COVID-19 test certificate: Orissa HC directs expeditious inquiry

The petitioner told the Court that on reaching the private hospital, the staff denied the man treatment stating Muslim patients were not allowed for dialysis unless they produce COVID-19 test certificates.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Orissa High Court recently directed the State to expedite investigation into the death of a kidney patient who was alleged to have been denied treatment by a private hospital as he did not produce a COVID-19 test certificate. The petitioner had attributed the incident partly to fake news spreading Islamophobia in the country,

The petitioner, Advocate Azra Jamal through counsel, Advocate Khirod Rout informed the Court that a person named Sayed Abdul Hasan had been going for dialysis treatment regularly at a private hospital. However, during the lockdown period, the same was denied to him as the hospital authorities suspected him to be COVID-19 positive.

On reaching the hospital, the concerned staff is stated to have told that Muslim patients were not allowed for dialysis unless they produce COVID-19 test certificates.

Hasan died in without the treatment and medical attention he required, the petitioner submitted. The Cout was further informed that this attitude on the part of the Hospital authorities was due to certain fake news circulating Islamophobia.

Appearing on behalf of the the State, the Advocate General stated that the grievance of the petitioner is being enquired into by the Collector of Cuttack.

The Court was further told that the State would ensure that no one will be deprived of treatment in any Government or private hospital on grounds of caste, creed, colour, sex or religion.

Taking the same into consideration, the Court proceeded to dispose of the matter while directing the concerned Collector to expeditiously enquire into the matter and submit a report the State Government.

The Division Bench comprising of Justices S Pujahari and K R Mohapatra further emphasised,

"The State shall also ensure that no person is denied treatment of any ailment by any hospital of Government or private, if such facility is available with the hospital or if not available to refer him to appropriate hospital where such facility is available. However, such treatment must be guided by the guidelines/instruction given in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic by the State Government."

Orissa High Court

Read the order:

order on PIL Odisha high court.pdf

It may be noted that the plea before the Court had also made the following prayers

  • Ensure that all medicinesin the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are available with all the pharmacies and stockists all over the state.

  • To direct all public hospitals as well as private hospitals to continue to remain open, keep their OPDs/IPDs open and not to refuse patients and provide free treatment during the lock down period.

  • To provide HIV drugs and Antibiotics immediately to all HIV Positive persons and to provide proper treatment to Thalasaemia Patients .

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