A 55-year-old widow of a soldier who was killed in the battle for Kargil in 1999, died in Sonipat's Tulip hospital on Friday after doctors allegedly denied her treatment, since she did not have her original Aadhaar card.
Shakuntala Devi, the widow of Laxman Dass who was posted with the 8th Jat Regiment in Muskoh valley near Kargil, was suffering from throat cancer and her kin had taken her to hospital after she complained of severe chest pain.
While the doctors say they did not deny treatment to Devi, the latter's son Pawan Kumar Balyan has alleged that the he was asked to leave the premises along with his mother, as he did not have her Aadhaar card.
However going by the government's policy, the 12-digit Adhar number should suffice to get a patient admitted to the hospital.
Patient's kin: doctors denied admission to his mother
Referring to the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS), Devi's son said, "With her condition worsening, my brother-in-law Ravinder Kumar and I took her to the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme (ECHS) hospital in Sonipat and got the referral slip for Tulip Hospital on Wednesday evening."
Balyan pointed out that the hospital authorities insisted on the original Aadhar card and he was quoted by TOI as saying, "I did not have the card, but had a copy sent to me on WhatsApp from home." He further alleged that even as his mother was sobbing in pain, the treatment wasn't initiated.
An upset Balyan said, "I got busy in the getting another referral letter and, before I knew it, my had mother had passed away." He said that even after 90 minutes of waiting, when the doctors did not start the treatment, he took his mother to the ECHS in Sonipat, in order to get referral to another hospital.
Balyan asserted, "A middle-aged woman came out and asked me to get the Aadhaar card or just leave the premises. When I persisted they called the local police officials who started intimidating me and accused me of creating a scene."
Tulip hospital: We were ready to treat Devi
However, the doctors at Tulip hospital have a different version to tell. The doctors denied allegations by the Kargil widow's son, while Dr Abhimanyu Kumar from Tulip Multispeciality Hopital said, "We were ready to treat the patient. We even have CCTV footage to show that a ward boy had taken them up to the emergency ward, but family members took her away on their own."
Kumar stressed that the hospital treated all patients who need immediate assistance. Another statement given by a constable too supports the hospitals' claim that they had taken Devi for treatment, but the family took her away.
The constable said, "I had gone to the hospital after a ruckus was created. The hospital was ready to admit the patient but said they needed the card even as treatment was started. But Balyan (Devi's son) seemed upset and left from there."
Ex servicemen, Haryana CM condemn Tulip
The Haryana Chief Minsiter Manohar Lal Khattar has assured of an inquiry into the alleged denial of treatment to the martyr's widow and said, "I have received information about it. We will conduct an inquiry & punish those found guilty."
"Can't imagine it happened, makes me scared for my family, hv ECHS benefits but connecting it to Aadhaar card & submitting a copy of it is ridiculous," said the daughter of Kargil martyr C B Dwivedi condemming Tulip hospital.
Can't imagine it happened,makes me scared for my family,hv ECHS benefits but connecting it to Aadhaar card&submitting a copy of it is ridiculous:Daughter of Kargil martyr Major CB Dwivedi on death of a martyr's wife ovr alleged denial of treatment due to unavailability of Aadhaar pic.twitter.com/zk89hL4e5Y— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2017
Shocked at the disgusting news. We've become so indifferent to human life! These are the kind of things that hit morale of armed forces: VN Thapar,father or Kargil martyr Vijayant Thapar on death of a martyr's wife over alleged denial of treatment due to unavailability of Aadhaar pic.twitter.com/bNeDs3B1Dy— ANI (@ANI) December 30, 2017
Hitting out at the ill-treatment to the soldier's widow, the father of another Kargil martyr Vijayant Thapar said, "We've become so indifferent to human life! These are the kind of things that hit morale of armed forces," as he added, "Shocked at the disgusting news."