The Chhattisgarh government on Saturday gave a Rs 1-lakh cheque as compensation to a woman whose newborn died after falling into a dustbin at a government hospital over two years ago, said an organisation that had moved the National Human Rights Commission in the case. The rights panel had in July ordered the government to pay the woman the compensation.
The incident took place on March 20, 2016, when Soni Baghel was brought from a village in Bastar to a hospital in Jagdalpur. She was asked to lie on a bed in the labour room, but the doctors and nurses allegedly left the room as she screamed out of labour pains. She soon gave birth to a baby girl who fell into a dustbin filled with medical waste. Doctors then allegedly asked her to clear the blood stains on the floor if she wanted them to save the newborn, reports said.
In its order in July 2018, the NHRC observed that the case showed a “gross violation of human rights of a woman going into labour”, according to The Times of India. The commission also said the suspension of the doctor who was on duty at the time was revoked in a few days, and the government must pay compensation to “give relief and generate faith” in the woman.
Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, which had filed a complaint before the NHRC, urged the government to improve services at state-run facilities to prevent such incidents again. The organisation noted that there had been two similar cases this year at a district hospital. The organisation urged the state government to “develop a robust system to respond to such cases of negligence and denial of human rights” at public health facilities.
The state government gave Baghel the cheque on Saturday at the Jagdalpur Medical College.