A National Human Rights Commission panel, which visited Delhi government’s biggest Covid facility -- Lok Nayak Hospital -- on June 11, 2020, to assess Covid services, has found that there is need for better communication measures to provide better healthcare services to patients for Covid treatment.
The team, led by its member Mrs Jyotika Kalra, took stock of the Covid facilities at the hospital which has become a topic of discussion after several reports found that many patients are being left without treatment or asked to visit other hospitals due to lack of Covid beds.
Some reports also showed that dead bodies are piling up in the hospital’s mortuary and patients are lying unconscious while there is nobody to take care of them.
The NHRC interacted with the hospital administration, doctors, staff and some attendants of the patients there and visited the emergency and the ward having beds for the Covid patients.
The team was informed that no serious patient was denied admission and as such only those patients are being admitted whose condition is serious. Others having minor symptoms are being advised for home quarantine. The hospital administration claimed that they are being referred patients by various doctors without any proper protocol.
As per NHRC, on the delay in shifting of dead bodies, the hospital administration informed that only due to problems in lifts on some occasions, there might have been some delay but mostly the bodies are shifted immediately.
The patients are being allowed to carry mobile phones and there is no such restriction. Home food is also being allowed. Additionally, the hospital canteen has been providing breakfast, lunch and dinner as per schedule.
The team found several beds were lying vacant. However, the hospital administration said this is as part of requirement in coming days, even additional equipment like dialysis machines and ventilators have been kept ready for any exigencies. About 23% doctors and para- medical staff has been kept aside, ready for deployment on need basis.
The NHRC member observed that at hospital entry gate proper and visible notice boards giving directions to the patients and their attendants were required. These should properly display the telephone number of an official who can directly guide them instead of a number which only gives another number to contact.
Mrs. Kalra said that the idea of the NHRC’s visit is to help hospital administration to plug loopholes in their functioning and not just find faults. A detailed report will be prepared and submitted to the Commission shortly. However, she said that the Commission would continue to keep a check on the facilities of the LNJP hospital and may also visit some hospitals in the National Capital under the Union Health Ministry.