KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the principal and medical superintendent of the Alappuzha Government Medical College Hospital to review the medical condition of a cardiac patient who was allegedly denied treatment by two medical colleges on the ground that priority is being given to Covid-19 patients at present.Justice Anu Sivaraman issued the order on a petition filed by R Radhakrishnan, a tailor from Kollam, alleging denial of medical treatment and his right to life.
When the case came up for hearing, the government pleader informed the court that the Department of Cardiology at the Alappuzha MCH will review the petitioner’s condition and take appropriate follow-up action.S K Adhithyan, counsel for the petitioner, told the court that when Radhakrishnan felt palpitation and uneasiness on January 2, he was rushed to the district hospital in Kollam. He was diagnosed with coronary artery disease with angina. The doctors advised him to take treatment at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. However, when he went to Thiruvananthapuram MCH in March, he has turned away, saying that priority was given to Covid-19 patients then.
He was again rushed to the MCH on March 26 after he developed severe palpitation and hypertension. Though the petitioner was willing to undergo the bypass surgery, the medical college authorities once again turned him away with the same reply. On April 6, he felt severe chest pain and uneasiness multiple times and was taken to the Travancore Medical College Hospital, Thattamala, Kollam where the doctors advised him to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting at the earliest, for which they demanded `10 lakh, the petitioner alleged.
He informed the hospital that being a member of a below poverty line family, he could not afford to pay such a high fee and got himself discharged from the hospital. When his son met cardiologists at the Alappuzha MCH with his medical records, he was advised to come back after the lockdown period.
Radhakrishnan was rushed to the Alappuzha MCH on April 24 with severe palpitation and loss of balance. Though he had insisted then on immediate medical intervention, the medical college authorities were not willing to do a surgery for removing the blocks in the artery and was forcibly discharged on April 26.
The petitioner contended that the medical college authorities have violated his right to life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution by denying him access to the healthcare system.