A team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) visited the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital (LNJP) in Delhi; for an on the spot assessment of the facilities for COVID care. The NHRC team made the visit after allegations that despite having beds, the hospital was denying the patients admission and treatment. Jyotika Kalra, member of the Commission led the team. The five-member team also comprised an assistant registrar (law), a Deputy superintendent of police, an inspector and a doctor on the panel of the Commission. The team interacted with the hospital administration, doctors, staff and some attendants of the patients at the hospital. They visited the emergency and the Ward having beds for the COVID patients.
Regarding the claim of patients not being admitted
However, the hospital administration informed them that no serious patient was denied admission; and only those patients are admitted whose condition is serious; while the doctors advise for home quarantine to the patients showing minor symptoms. The hospital administration claimed that various doctors are referring patients without any proper protocol.
Regarding the delay in shifting of dead bodies; the hospital administration informed that only problems in lifts on some occasions resulted in some delays; but mostly they shift the bodies immediately. The patients are allowed to carry mobile phones and there is no such restriction. The authorities allow home food for the patients. Additionally, the hospital canteen is providing breakfast, lunch and dinner as per schedule.
Preparations for Emergencies
The team found that several beds were lying vacant. But the hospital administration explained this is a part of requirement in coming days; even additional equipment like dialysis machines and ventilators are kept ready for any emergencies. About 23% doctors and para- medical staff are also ready for deployment on need basis.
Observations by the NHRC Team
The team observed that at hospital entry gate; the administration should put up proper and visible notice boards giving directions to the patients and their attendants. The boards should properly display the telephone number of an official; who can directly guide them instead of a number which only gives another number to contact.
Purpose of such visits
Jyotika Kalra said that the aim of the Commission’s visit is to help hospital administration; to plug loop holes in their functioning and not for just finding faults. The team will prepare a detailed report and submit it to the Commission shortly. Lastly, she said that the Commission would continue to keep a check on the facilities of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital; and may also visit some hospitals in the National Capital under the Union Health Ministry.
Over the past several weeks many people have raised a number of such allegations. Many COVID-19 patients or their families have put up videos on social media claiming lack of proper food or healthcare facilities at hospitals.