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Pregnant women denied admission in Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital due to shortage of Anaesthetists, Delhi High Court directs Delhi govt to appoint them

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi Government to immediately appoint Anaesthetists in the emergency ward of Jag Pravesh Chander Hospital in the national capital, after a petition alleged that pregnant women were being denied admission in the hospital due to shortage of Anaesthetists.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a petition, seeking immediate recruitment of sufficient number of Anesthetists and Specialist Doctors at the hospital for providing treatment to patients approaching the hospital, particularly the pregnant women.

Filed by lawyer and activist Amit Sahni, the plea also prayed for ensuring that poor and financially underprivileged classes are not denied admission or treatment in the hospitals owned or managed by the Delhi Government. 

Arguments Raise

Advocate Amit Sahni submitted that pregnant women are being denied admission in Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital due to shortage of anesthetists.  
The Bench enquired if any representation has been made to the Government in this regard, to which he submitted that as the issue requires immediate attention, no representation has been made. The Bench orally remarked that the cause raised by the petitioner is genuine, but the process of appointment of doctors is cumbersome and requires time.  

Delhi Government’s Additional Standing Counsel Satyakam informed the Bench that the hospital already has four Anesthetists out of the sanctioned strength of five. He submitted not a single patient has been denied treatment at the hospital.

The Bench disposed of the petition, asking the concerned authorities to treat the petition as a representation and to decide the grievance ventilated in the petition regarding the appointment of doctors/anesthetists. “This decision will be taken by the respondents in accordance with law, rules, regulations and relevant policies applicable to the facts of the case, as expeditiously as possible and practicable,” said the Bench.

Background 

Relying on a newspaper article published in the “Navbharat Times” on August 30, 2021, the plea alleged that the emergency ward of the said hospital is not available from 4pm to 8am due to the shortage of anesthetists. “This causing extreme hardship to patients approaching the hospital for medical treatment, more particularly pregnant women,” the plea had stated. 

Also Read: Judges should refrain from passing oral direction, particularly in criminal matters: Supreme Court


“Due to absence of Anesthetists/Specialists/Doctors, the pregnant women particularly from weaker section of society, are denied admission in Respondent No-2 (Hospital) for delivery of their baby. Further, those who need an emergency C-section are also sent back to other hospitals. Pregnant women in extreme labour pain and their relatives are suffering enormously due to the denial of the hospital to provide any kind of medical help after 4pm in the evening till 8am in the morning,” the plea added.

The plea had claimed that timely medical aid is an integral part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution, states that if Anesthetists are not recruited immediately, the same may put several precious lives in danger.

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