ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sujit DasSubscribe to Sujit Das

Right to Emergency Medicare-A Landmark Judgment

Right to Emergency Medicare A Landmark Judgment Sujit Das ON July 8, 1992 evening, Hakim Seikh, a poor farm labour fell off a train near Mathurapur station, a few miles from Calcutta and sustained head injury. The Mathurapur Primary Health Centre detained him for a couple of hours, did not offer even first aid and advised him to move to the subdi visional hospital. The patient was brought to Calcutta's NRS Medical College Hospital where he was examined, X-rayed, declared admissible but was denied admission on the pica of non-availability of bed. The entire night and the early part of the next morning were spent making the rounds of the other five big city hospitals attached to different medical colleges where also the patient was denied admission. Advised by one of them, the patient underwent a CT scan examination at his own cost in a private clinic and the picture indicated haemorrhage inside the skull. Later the patient was ultimately accepted in a private hospital after an initial deposit of Rs 10,000. Hakim Seikh, however, survived with treatment costing Rs 27,000, without any residual physical impairment. Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samiti (West Bengal Farm Labourers' Association), a voluntary organisation, thereafter, filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India to the Supreme Court of India, claiming that the fundamental right granted to Haikm Seikh by Article 21 had been violated by the government of West Bengal by refusing him admission in the government hospitals. The Samiti cited the earlier judgment in Pt Paramanand Katara vs Union of India and Ors, 1989(4) SCC 286, of the Supreme Court emphasising the need of rendering immediate medical aid to injured persons to preserve life and the obligations of the state as well as doctors in this regard.
Back to Top