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Why could govt not find ambulance for Delhi rape victim?

January 08, 2013 20:56 IST

Inadequate infrastructure and lack of facilities at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Tuesday came under scanner of a Parliamentary panel which slammed the government for its "failure" to even provide for a state-of-the-art ambulance to transport the Delhi gang-rape victim to the airport recently.

Sources said members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, in its meeting in New Delhi, lamented that the government had to borrow an ambulance from a private hospital to transport the girl to the airport for her treatment in Singapore.

They wondered why a top medical institute of the country did not have a similar facility to cater to such emergencies despite crores of rupees having been spent on improving infrastructure.

Members are also learnt to have told Health Ministry officials that government had to seek the opinion of private doctors instead of relying on government doctors treating the rape victim, before transporting her to Singapore for further treatment.

The working of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was under scrutiny of the Parliamentary Committee, where it was sought that facilities be added and improved to provide more patient care and satisfaction.

Laying emphasis on hygiene in the hospital, the Committee also discussed the issue of shortage of doctors, with some seeking early start of the six AIIMS-like institutes across the country.

The six such institutes at Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh which were announced in 2003 and approved in March 2006. The institutes are to be set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.

Meanwhile, a high-level inquiry has been ordered to find out the role of Safdarjung hospital staff while treating the Delhi gang-rape victim and her friend, allegation of non-responsive behaviour of PCR vans when they made the distress call besides a host of other issues.

The probe by Home Ministry Joint Secretary Veena Kumari Meena will look into the the allegations raised by the lone eye-witness of the December 16 gang-rape like late arrival, non-responsive behaviour of PCR vans and other charges to ascertain the facts and fix accountability for any lapses.

The inquiry officer has been asked to submit a detailed report within seven days after inquiry into the allegations and issues, a Home Ministry official said.

According to the terms of reference, the inquiry committee will find out the Safdarjung hospital staff's role in dealing with the victims, how the bus in question continued to ply even after being challaned several times and whether any cancellation of its registration and confiscation could have been done or not and if not, then the reasons thereof.

It would specifically look as to how much time the PCR vans took to reach the spot, whether they delayed in taking action after reaching the spot on discussing the jurisdiction issue or any other issue and whether the PCR policemen took all necessary action as warranted.

The probe will also look into recent media report regarding non-responsiveness of Dial 100 Helpline to a woman journalist, and fix responsibility.

The 23-year-old victim, a paramedic student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus. Later, she passed away in a Singapore hospital on December 29.


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