Peitition in case of maternal death due to non-implementation of healthcare schemes


Smt. Kabita Barik Vrs. State of Orissa & Others W.P. (C) No. 5429 of 2016, In the High Court of Orissa, Cuttack Synopsis: - That in this petition the petitioner challenges the inaction of the Opp. Parties in non-implementation of the welfare schemes framed by the department of Health & Family Welfare and Women and Child Development Department. Whereby the wife of the petitioner, a pregnant lady died due to negligence and poor treatment at the Sub-Divisional Hospital, Anandapur, Keonjhar from 02.04.2016 to 03.04.2016 while she was undergoing a treatment in the aforesaid Hospital. Facts:- That fact leading to file this case is that wife of the petitioner namely late Renubala Sahoo was a pregnant lady. This is her first pregnancy. As per guideline her name has been registered under ICDS scheme, accordingly, a Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) card has been issued in her favour on 14.08.2015 bearing MCTS card No. 210610000411500045 which revealed that her expected date of delivery is 03.04.2016. That the petitioner humbly submits that on 02.04.2016 at about 8 A.M. the wife of the petitioner felt labor pain, therefore immediately family members tried to contact ambulance service provided by the Central and State Govt., by 102 & 108 Ambulance but since 102 ambulance did not arrive and finding no other alternative way they hired a private Vehicle and rushed to Sub-Divisional Hospital, Keonjhar. After reaching the hospital the doctor in duty checked her health condition and advised to admit her. Accordingly, she was admitted and immediately, one Pkt. Blood was administered to her. That the petitioner respectfully submits that, on 03.04.2016 in absence of a doctor, two staff nurse namely kadambini and kuni conducted delivery at about 3.58 P.M., Renubala delivered a female baby of 2 kg 900 gm in labour room. After delivery she was supposed to come by stretcher. But she has been forced to walk from labour room to 1st floor as per the instruction of the staff nurse. From 3. 58 P.M to 9.00 PM no single doctor visited the patient to check her health condition. About 9.05 PM when she became very serious immediately ASHA called the doctor and thereafter the doctor checked and declared her dead. That the petitioner humbly submits that since the wife of the petitioner died due to the poor and negligent treatment of the doctors at the SDH Anandpur the petitioner was compelled to lodge an FIR which is registered against some of the negligent staff for the offenses U/S 304A/34 of IPC. Further, the petitioner could know that the doctor has opined the death of the deceased is accidental nature. Grounds: - That as per the norms of the National Health Mission a pregnant woman has to be provided antenatal services which include two shots of tetanus injection, four checkups by the ANM, and nutritional support through the ICDS initiative at the village level. In the present case the wife of the petitioner was not covered under MAMATA Scheme which along with antenatal, postnatal care and immunization also provides partial wage compensation (Rs. 1,500 in the sixth month of her pregnancy, and 1,500 after the completion of three month of the child), but here in this case even though the wife of petitioner covered under this scheme she had not got any incentive from the govt. That despite there being a provision under National Health Mission free ambulance services that would facilitate the patient’s movement from her home to the health services and then back to her home; Renubala Sahoo was not accorded the dignity that she deserved and her dead body again returned back home in an auto rickshaw wrapped up in a thin sheet. That the government in the Centre has rolled out National Health Mission in all the states of India to attain universal access to equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services, accountable and responsive to the needs of the poor, with effective inter-sectoral convergent action to address the wider social determinants of health. That the Government of India has initiated a strategic approach- Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) that embodies its vision for comprehensive and integrated health services, most importantly for adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, mothers and children. That there is a need to recognize neglectful, abusive and disrespectful treatment of Renubala Sahoo throughout the course of her pregnancy and also at the health facility. She was not provided adequate care and services when she reached the hospital, during her delivery as well as after her death. This demonstrates that mistreatment has occurred at the level of interaction between her and the service providers as well as through systemic failures at the health facility and health system levels. Prayer:- Under the facts and circumstances it is therefore humbly prayed that this Hon’ble court may graciously be pleased to admit the writ application, issue notice to the Opp.Parties to show cause as to why the reliefs prayed for shall not be granted in favour of the petitioner and if the Opposite parties failed to show cause or showed insufficient causes, the Hon’ble court may further be pleased to issue direction to the Opposite Parties, To pass an order to ensure effective implementation of the guarantees in Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), Mamata and other benefits under National food security Act and to pass an order to reimburse petitioner for the expenditures incurred and provide a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs for mental and physical trauma and loss of her child And may further pleased to pass such other order/orders, direction/directions may deem fit and proper in the interest of justice. Status (In court): The aforesaid case was listed before the Hon’ble High court on 29.09.2016 for admission. During the course of hearing the Hon’ble High court, issue notice to all the opp.parties. Case is pending for final disposal. Precedents sighted: - That the present case also relates to the order passed in the following cases: in Francis Caralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi & Others, [1981 SCR (2) 6], the Supreme Court held that the right to live with dignity and protection against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is implicit in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In Pt. Parmannand katara v. Union of India & Ors., [1989 SCR (3) 997], the Supreme Court held that the Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation on the state to preserve life. In Consumer Education and Research Centre v. Union of India, [1995 SCC (3) 43], the Supreme Court held that article 21 of the Constitution of India includes a fundamental right to health and that this right is a ‘most imperative constitutional goal.’ In Paschim Bangal Khet Mazdoor Samity v. State of West Bengal, [1996 SCC(4) 37], the Supreme Court affirmed that providing “adequate medical facilities for the people is an essential part” of the government’s obligation to “safeguard the right to life of every person.” In PUCL v. Union of India, [1996SCC}, the Supreme Court held that all pregnant women should be paid Rs. 500 under NMBS at 8-12 weeks prior to delivery for their first two births, irrespective of the place of delivery adage. In Laxmi Mandal v. Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital & Ors. [W.P.(c) No. 8853/2008], the Delhi High Court held that an inalienable component of the right to life is “the right to health, which would include the right to access government health facilities and receive a minimum standard of care. In particularly this would include the enforcement of the reproductive rights of the mother.” In Sandesh Babsal v. Union of India & Ors., [W.P.(C) No. 9061/2008], the Indore High court concluded that timely health care is of the essence for pregnant women to protect their fundamental rights to health and life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Fact-finding conclusions:- That a team comprising a health activist and social workers have conducted a fact finding on the issue of death of the newborn baby of Kabita Barik, which clearly reveals that due to non-implementation of IPHS guidelines, non-implementation of NHM guidelines and non-available of services at the district headquarter hospital and due to medical negligence the patient died, for which the state authorities are solely responsible and are liable to be prosecuted as per law, as they have violated their code of conduct. It is also observed that even after the death of her newborn baby; the medical authorities did not provide the transportation facility, while they are duty bound to provide the transport facility to her door step. Such callous activity of the Opp. Parties is not at all acceptable in a democratic country and such inhumane action violates the fundamental rights and constitutional rights of the people