In the wake of a death of a 25-year-old woman and her new born baby, the Delhi High Court questioned the city government on the implementation of various maternal health schemes. They sought to know what measures have been taken in this regard.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued a notice to the central and Delhi governments asking them to indicate the measures they have taken in hospitals on working such schemes and gaps in them, and to highlight the reasons for not properly implementing them.
The court decided to take this action on the plea of the mother-in-law of the woman who died just a day after giving birth to her son. According to her family, the woman and child were not given the necessary health and medical care by the authorities.
Tabassum, who belonged to poor strata of society, and her baby died as a result of "poor implementation of government maternal health schemes, absence of ante-natal care, a broken referral system, and substandard medical treatment during delivery", alleged the plea.
Tabassum's labour pains began on February 6, 2015, early morning, after which she was taken to the dispensary but there was no doctor on duty to attend her and her condition started deteriorating. From 4am to 3pm, she was rushed to various health centers waiting for her treatment.
"Delay in seeking delivery care, a delay in reaching facilities, and a delay in receiving adequate care at facilities led to the death of Tabassum," said the plea.
Tabassum left behind her 5-year-old son and family to fend for themselves. The court petitioned Rs. 12 lakh as compensation for her son to take care of his education and health.
In its order, the court has also directed the authorities to "deal with the system of referral obtaining in government hospitals whereby patients, it appears (as in this case), are made to travel from one hospital to another to get requisite medical care."