NHRC notice to Telangana over refusal of treatment to HIV patient

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission has issued notice to the Telangana government over the alleged refusal of hospitals to treat a minor HIV patient citing non-availability of facilities.

Accordingly, the state Chief Secretary has been asked to submit a report on the matter within six weeks.

The human rights body said the 14-year-old boy underwent treatment at Hyderabad’s Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for two weeks. He was referred to Niloufer Hospital in that city for Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) since the facility is not available at the NIMS.

However, the teenager was allegedly denied admission at Niloufer Hospital on the pretext it did not admit children over the age of 12.

Thereafter, the boy was directed to the Osmania General Hospital (OGH), where too no help was forthcoming.

“A few volunteers arranged for the overnight stay of the boy and his grandmother in the hospital corridors. Later, OPD doctors refused to examine the boy and referred him to an ART Centre at the Chest Hospital in Erragadda, where doctors again referred him to OGH to undergo a liver function test besides getting an expert opinion from a gastroenterologist, before the treatment could be initiated,” the commission said.

The NHRC said the case points towards lack of infrastructure and coordination among different government healthcare centres.

“The boy, who could be under trauma due to AIDS, and his aged grandmother have suffered due to the callous and insensible attitude of the hospitals. Instead of initiating treatment, they made the boy and his grandmother run from one hospital to another in the name of jurisdiction and non-availability of different facilities,” the NHRC said.