Father of dead student demands Rs.5 mn from AIIMS
Dec 30, 2007 - 1:09:59 PM
New Delhi, Dec 30 - The father of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences - student, who died of dengue last year, has asked the institute to pay him Rs.5 million as compensation, saying a government enquiry had put the blame on negligence by doctors.
K. Vijaya Kumar, the father of Kamalla Raj Kiran, a seventh semester student who died of dengue Sep 30, 2006, has also threatened to take legal action against the prestigious institute if he fails to hear from it on the matter soon.
'For the past one year, I have sent several letters to then AIIMS director -. But not once I heard from him - either orally or a written answer,' Kumar, who belongs to an impoverished scheduled caste family, told IANS on phone from Hyderabad.
He said when he recently came to know that a committee set up by the health minister confirmed that his son died due to AIIMS doctors' negligence, he sent another letter to Venugopal Oct 30 this year.
'In this letter I have asked for a compensation of Rs.5 million on the basis of the enquiry committee's findings,' he said.
But what came as a shock for many in AIIMS was that Venugopal forwarded the Oct 30 letter of Kumar to the academic section instead to the administration for its views only hours before the Supreme Court Dec 3 refused to restore his services.
Venugopal, who had been involved in a fierce tug-of-war with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, was ousted from the institute following the Indian parliament passing a legislation that shortened his tenure.
Reliable sources said after the letter was received, officials discussed the issue with the acting director T.D. Dogra. 'He has formed a committee to look into the matter,' the source said.
The anguished father is hoping that the acting director will take the matter seriously. 'I will wait for a few weeks more and if I don't hear from the institute I will file a case against the institute for negligence.'
Kumar, who had raised the matter for compensation on humanitarian grounds last year also, said Venugopal had formed a committee of three doctors, including the present acting director, to talk to him.
'Dogra knows about my case. A committee member told me at that time there was no rule under which I could get compensation, so I returned to Hyderabad. But when I came to know about the committee report, I wrote again to the director asking for compensation,' said the homeopathic doctor, who works at a state-run dispensary.
In his letter, Kumar said that the 'report of the enquiry commission' into the death of his son has proved that Raj Kiran 'died due to negligence of the doctors on duty, and overall delay in giving treatment at the right time'.
A three-member enquiry committee was set up by Health Minister Ramadoss, who is also AIIMS president, in October 2006 to probe the circumstances that led to the death of the student.
In the report, the members said 'there was delay in providing treatment to Raj Kiran at the AIIMS casualty.'
Raj Kiran visited the AIIMS casualty as a patient Sep 27 and was sent back to the hostel after 'symptomatic treatment though his hematocrit was 50 percent, the platelet count was 105,000 and he had coffee coloured vomiting, indicating gastrointestinal bleeding'.
The next day he was advised hospitalisation, but was provided a bed only late in the night and was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit Sep 29 and was operated upon. He died Sep 30.
In his letter, Kumar said: 'We were informed by his friends only when he was in coma. Neither the hostel in-charge, nor the hospital personnel or the college, informed us. By the time we reached Delhi, his condition was very critical and he passed away Sep 30.
'We cannot get back our son, we feel that our claim for ex-gratia is justified. As we belong to a poor family and we had so many hopes and aspirations from our son, who was a brilliant and very intelligent boy, we have appealed for some ex-gratia and have been pleading for that for the last one year,' said the father of the 2003-batch student in his letter.
He said he had pinned all his hopes on Raj Kiran, his eldest son. 'I have another four years before I retire. I have a daughter and a son. I have to pay for their education and for their marriage. How would I be able to do it alone?'
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