Systemic Discrimination: Transperson Denied Care at Govt Hospital, Forced to Resort to Private Treatment

During the morning rounds, the attending doctor perfunctorily reviewed old medical records and discharge notes, neglecting to conduct a physical examination.
Govt MB Hospital at Udaipur
Govt MB Hospital at UdaipurInternet

Udaipur: In March of this year, Rajasthan  embraced a momentous stride towards inclusivity and equitable healthcare by enacting the pioneering Right to Health Act. This commendable legislation guarantees every resident of Rajasthan the fundamental right to receive essential medical care, particularly in cases of emergencies, without any prerequisite payment at designated healthcare facilities. However, in a  disheartening incident, in the light of the progressive Right to Health Act, a transgender person had to endure the brunt of discrimination and unequal treatment at the Government MB Hospital in Udaipur. 

Transgender individuals encounter discriminatory practices everywhere and government health facilities are no exception. 

Regrettably, the trans person seeking treatment at the government hospital faced denial of care. compelling the affected individual to seek medical assistance from a private facility without even undergoing the formal discharge process.

Remarkably, the hospital administration demonstrated a disheartening lack of sensitivity by professing ignorance regarding the matter. Within the largest divisional healthcare institution, MB Hospital, a distressing incident of discrimination against transgender individuals has come to light. Frustrated by the incessant ridicule from hospital residents, visiting physicians, and the cleaning staff, the transperson made the difficult decision to abandon their treatment and opt for care at a private hospital. Reports from their colleagues indicate that some improvement in their condition was observed late in the evening on Wednesday. In response to this incident, the hospital administration disavowed any knowledge and pledged to initiate a thorough investigation.

The incident unfolded when Shalu Kinnar arrived at the hospital, complaining of severe stomach pain at 6 pm on Tuesday. Shockingly, upon presenting the admission slip, a resident doctor in the ward callously discarded it and refused to provide medical attention. Subsequently, another doctor admitted Shalu to ward number 106; however, the hospital staff merely administered a drip without extending any further care. During the morning rounds, the attending doctor perfunctorily reviewed old medical records and discharge notes, neglecting to conduct a physical examination.

Overwhelmed by excruciating pain, Shalu felt compelled to leave the ward at 11 am on Wednesday, without obtaining the proper discharge procedure. Mayuri Kinnar accompanied Shalu to the hospital. Mayuri alleges that even the government hospital's fan was intentionally switched off, exacerbating the discomfort. Additionally, the derogatory remarks made by the cleaning staff further intensified the distressing situation. Mayuri said Shalu does not possess a Bhamashah card, thereby necessitating the costly option of seeking treatment at a private hospital or paying out-of-pocket for their medical care.

All patients equal, no discrimination: Superintendent

Meanwhile, the hospital administration assured that if any negligence had occurred, a thorough investigation would be conducted to uncover the truth. Dr. RL Suman, the Superintendent of MB Hospital said that for doctors all patients are equal and no one should be discriminated on the bases of caste , religion and gender. He emphatically reiterated that the paramount duty of a doctor is to heal and treat all patients equitably. Any potential dereliction of duty would be subjected to an exhaustive inquiry, including interrogations of the implicated individuals.

The Mooknayak attempted to speak to Pushpa, a member of Transgender Welfare Board Rajasthan, however she was not available for a comment.

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