Poor patient moves HC against AIIMS for refusing surgery

New Delhi, Aug 9 :

A person, Sarvesh, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to provide him free treatment costing nearly Rs 8 lakh for Reiter’s disease.
In his petition, Sarvesh, 38, said he urgently needs a total hip-and-knee replacement surgery but being poor he cannot afford it.

His wife, the only earning member in his family, works as a domestic help in Delhi on a meagre salary of Rs. 4000 which is insufficient to feed a family of four, and it is thus impossible for him to arrange Rs. 8 lakh for the surgery, he said in his plea.

Sarvesh used to work as a casual labourer before he was immobilised due to Reiter’s disease in 2012. The initial treatment, at the AIIMS, stopped the disease from getting aggravated. But his knees and hips remain immobile.

Sarvesh then went to Primus Hospital under the EWS category for hip-and-knee replacement surgery where the doctors referred him to AIIMS saying the surgery involved too many complications and could be performed only at AIIMS.

He was admitted to AIIMS and was given a date for the surgery, May 15. However, the surgery was not performed as he was unable to pay for it.

Sarvesh said he made several representations to the AIIMS authorities, Delhi government and the union health ministry requesting them for free treatment. However, the AIIMS authorities reiterated that the surgery could not be performed until the money was paid.

The plea said that this action of AIIMS is “violating his human and fundamental right to life”.

It added that AIIMS being a government hospital is under a constitutional obligation to provide free medical treatment to the poor.

The case is likely to come up for hearing Monday.


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