The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Safdarjung Hospital for turning away patients, allegedly for want of beds, leading to the deaths of many patients.
A bench headed by Chief Justice M.K. Sarma asked the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) to convene a meeting of the nodal officers of both state-run hospitals to sort out the problem.
"How could the doctors be so negligent about the patients who were in need of medical attention?" the court asked. "How could you turn away a patient? The doctors should at least maintain certain professional ethics," it observed.
The court took suo motu cognisance of a news report and turned it into a public interest petition (PIL) on Sep 11 and issued notice to the Safdarjung Hospital.
The news report alleged that the patients referred by the AIIMS to the Safdarjung Hospital were sent back by the doctors with remarks that there was no vacancy.
The medical superintendents and other senior officials of the two hospitals should meet and sort out the problem in four weeks in the better interest of the public, the court said.
The DGHS has been asked to be present in the court Nov 28, the next date of hearing, after sorting out the problem.
The court earlier summoned the additional superintendent of the Safdarjung Hospital to reply to the queries relating to alleged negligence in the treatment of the patients there.
The official submitted that the hospital has the capacity to treat between 500 to 800 patients and cannot take more patients.