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Gujarat HC sets up panel to probe denial of medical care to pregnant women

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | February 01, 2023 10:55 AM

Ahmedabad:A division bench of the Gujarat High Court has set up a committee to be headed by retired justice to look into two incidents where pregnant women were allegedly refused medical aid by hospitals.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice A.J. Shastri while hearing a PIL observed on Tuesday, "We will appoint an independent panel, as we are seeing too many such incidents where unless an amount is paid, hospitals don't admit patients...We want an independent authority to examine the issue."

The court has appointed a three-member committee, which will be led by retired Justice Harsha Devani of the High Court. The other two members are Dr. Lavina Sinha, Deputy Commissioner of Police for Ahmedabad, who is also a licenced physician, and IAS Ramya Mohan, Mission Director of the National Health Mission. To assist the court on the matter Asim Pandya has been appointed as amicus curiae.

The committee will look into the two incidents in detail, prepare a detailed report and suggest remedies to the court.

A pregnant woman who gave birth outside the hospital on the sidewalk in February 2022 was refused medical attention by L.G. Hospital, which is managed by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The newborn died soon after birth.

In another case, a pregnant woman was turned away by a private hospital in January 2022 because she was unable to pay the money. As a result, the woman gave birth on the hospital steps.


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