A young woman died awaiting treatment at the Memon Medical Institute hospital in Karachi earlier this week, her family alleged.
The woman, Nazia, fell on the road while pillion-riding a motorbike along with her brother. She was critically injured and taken to the MMI hospital.
But the hospital staff refused to treat her and asked Nazia’s brother to first deposit the fee, according to her family.
Her brother told SAMAA TV the hospital staff ignored his repeated pleas. He asked for some time assuring them he had cash at home but to no avail.
“Their nurses and doctors distanced themselves from [Nazia’s] bed,” another relative said. “They were telling [us] to ‘take the patient, she won’t be treated here’.”
An hour later, Nazia was referred to the Civil Hospital Trauma Centre without treatment, according to her family. But she had lost her fight for life by then.
Nazia’s relatives staged a demonstration outside the MMI hospital on Wednesday. They demanded the Sindh government take action against the hospital.
The MMI management requested SAMAA TV to visit the hospital to give its stance on the incident. But the hospital staff instead called in the police when a SAMAA TV team reached there.
The police left after confirming that the reporting team was there on the request of the management. The MMI management has yet to give its stance on the incident.
What does Sindh Injured Persons Compulsory Medical Treatment Act say?
The Sindh Injured Persons Compulsory Medical Treatment (Amal Umer) Act, 2019 makes it “compulsory to provide medical aid and treatment without any fear, to any injured person, to save their life and protect their health during an emergency”.
The law was passed by the Sindh Assembly in the aftermath of the death of Amal Umer. The 10-year-old girl was killed in crossfire between police and two robbers in Karachi’s Akhtar Colony on August 13, 2018.
The injured girl was rushed to the National Medical Centre, where the parents said the hospital “failed to provide emergency medical aid to her”.