Monday, November 29, 1999

HIV+ woman`s kin seek action against hospital

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Mumbai, June 17 -- Relatives of a 34-year-old HIV-positive woman, who was allegedly denied treatment at the state-run GT Hospital on Tuesday, have written to the State Human Rights Commission, state government and the police seeking action against the hospital doctors. The woman is now being treated at St George Hospital near CST. "It is unfair to discriminate against a patient because of her medical condition. We have taken this step so no other patient has to suffer," said a relative. "We have received the relatives' letter and are looking into the matter," said Bhaurao Bhawale, senior inspector at the Azad Maidan police station. The Goregaon-based woman's kin had taken her to GT Hospital on Tuesday because she required a surgery for an abscess on her neck. She was admitted to the medicine ward around 11 am. "Barely 30 minutes after we left the hospital after completing the admission procedure, she called saying that the doctors had discharged her," said the relative. He added the doctor had forced her to sign the 'Discharge Against Medical Advice' papers and told her to go to another hospital as her HIV-positive status could endanger other patients. GT Hospital superintendent Dr A.P. Chaudhary denied the allegations. "The medicine department doctor had referred her to the casualty so she could be admitted to the surgical ward. But she stayed in the corridor and some social workers accompanying her decided to move her to another hospital."She was diagnosed with HIV two years ago and her husband succumbed to the same condition seven months ago.

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