DCW alleges ill-treatment, discrimination of EWS patients at private hospital in Delhi

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has alleged that a private hospital was “ill-treating and discriminating” patients from economically weaker sections, prompting the health authorities to carry out an inspection of the facility.

Following the visit, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), directed the hospital to do away with the practice of separating the area of economically weaker sections (EWS) and paid category patients and they have been directed to keep the waiting area the same for both the categories, the panel said in a statement on Wednesday.

They have also been asked to ensure that the facilities for treating the EWS patients should be at par with the paid category patients, it added.

The panel received a complaint from a former member of the commission Juhi Khan regarding the misconduct by the hospital.

“The DCW has ensured action against a private city hospital for ill-treating and discriminating against EWS patients. She informed that a private hospital — Madhukar Rainbow Hospital, Malviya Nagar was discriminating against EWS category patients,” the DCW said in a statement. In a statement, the hospital said it was visited by officials of the DGHS on July 28.

“We extended our complete cooperation and shared information as requested,” it added.

The panel alleged that the hospital was segregating and profiling EWS patients and they were being made to sit in a separate area in the basement of the hospital (in the car parking) where there is no proper seating facility and air conditioner.

It was also alleged that EWS patients are being attended to by different doctors instead of regular ones. DCW issued notice to DGHS, Delhi and sought an action taken report in the matter. After the notice, a team of DGHS conducted a surprise inspection in the hospital and observed several issues therein, the DCW said.

“They observed that the EWS display board was missing on the entry and exit gate of the hospital and the board displaying the names of members of the Monitoring Committee was also missing on the reception area. They also observed that the doctor’s room for treatment of EWS patients was very small with hardly any space for clinical examination,” it said.

The waiting area and OPD counter for EWS patients were situated in the basement without any basic amenities or proper directions/signs/indicators to reach there. The EWS OPD register was lacking patients’ complete details like contact numbers etc. Acting on the issues observed in the hospital, DGHS has directed them to take corrective action, the panel said.

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