NEW DELHI: With their son’s life hanging by a thread due to dengue infliction, a couple was made to scramble from one hospital to the next, until the six-year-old finally breathed his last at a private hospital here. The reason — “non-availability of bed and equipment”.
Aman Sharma’s death on Sunday led to an outrage in the national capital and added fuel to the fire, as another child from Odisha had succumbed to the fever and his parents committed suicide last week.
Eleven people have died due to dengue so far in the past few days, with the Delhi government claiming it was mulling legislation for the government to take control of private hospitals in case of emergencies.
Aman’s father Manoj Sharma said his son was diagnosed with dengue at a private hospital in Srinivaspuri and was then taken to the Central government-run Safdarjung Hospital on September 9. But there, the doctors refused to admit him. “The doctors said our boy does not have dengue and there was no need to admit him. At that time, our son’s condition was a bit stable and so we brought him home,” said Manoj Sharma.
But later Aman’s condition worsened and he was rushed to Jeewan hospital. The doctors expressed inability to handle the case due to the lack of required equipment. The family then tried getting admission in Max Superspeciality Hospital Saket, Moolchand and Batra, but they cited unavailability of bed. Following this, they took the child to Safdarjung, where he was admitted for only two-three hours.
Seeing the child’s condition deteriorate, the family then shifted him to Holy Family Hospital where he tested positive for dengue and passed away on Sunday evening.
As outrage spread, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal made surprise visits to government hospitals. “It is heartbreaking. We have become blind in the race to make more and more profit. We shouldn’t forget our humanity. Nothing would have been lost if the hospitals had treated the child. Would it have affected their profit margin so much?” he asked.
On September 8, seven-year-old Avinash Rout from Odisha died of dengue after being denied admission at five top private hospitals. The child was later admitted to Batra Hospital, where he breathed his last. On Tuesday, the Delhi government slapped show-cause notices on five leading hospitals threatening cancellation of their registration for refusing to admit Avinash.
Meanwhile, all Delhi schools were asked to ensure that children came to school dressed in full-sleeve shirts, trousers and salwar kameez for a month as a preventive measure.