Patna HC asks PMCH superintendent: Do you want to go to jail?

PATNA: Patna high court on Tuesday directed the PMCH superintendent to reimburse the expenses incurred by a person living with AIDS. Hearing a writ petition of the person, who was allegedly denied the required surgery at the PMCH, Justice Jyoti Saran rebuked the hospital superintendent and asked, "Do you want to go to jail?" The court also sought the superintendent's reply till July 7 as why the PMCH took money from the patient despite the court's directive for her treatment at state expenses and what steps the hospital had taken for her treatment. On May 28, the court of Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh had asked the PMCH superintendent not to subject the petitioner to any harassment and the state to bear the expenses of her treatment. Justice Singh had also observed that it was the duty of a hospital to give medical assistance to every citizen without any discrimination and if a doctor refused to treat a person living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), his licence should be liable for cancellation. "The doctors are bound by their oath," the court had observed. Petitioner's counsel Vikash Kumar Pankaj had argued that she needed immediate treatment/surgery as she had serious complications in her uterus and she was unable to sit. He also stated that the petitioner was referred by Chhapra sadar hospital to PMCH due to her deteriorating health but the PMCH refused to perform surgery.