Reported increasing Stray dog biting incidents inside the AHPGIC, Cuttack : NHRC takes suo motu cognizance

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Issues notices to the Odisha Government, Hospital Administration, and the Cuttack Municipal Corporation

New Delhi(Kalinga Voice) : The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that stray dogs are moving freely inside the Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), Cuttack, Odisha, and biting patients. Reportedly, as many as five patients were bitten by stray dogs inside the hospital premises during the last week delaying their vital procedures like chemotherapy and radiation critical for cancer treatment.     

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to the violation of the human rights of the patients.  Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha, the Director, Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), Cuttack, and the Commissioner, Cuttack Municipal Corporation calling for a detailed report in the matter, within 6 weeks.  The reports should include the steps taken/proposed to be taken by them to deal with the stray dogs’ menace inside the AHPGIC Hospital and to ensure the safety of the patients as well as their attendants, inside the hospital premises. 

The Commission has further observed that apparently, the hospital management has not been following the Charter of Patients’ Rights issued by the NHRC, which is not acceptable in a rule-based society.  This provides for their right to safety and quality care according to standards that include a proper environment within the hospital premises having requisite cleanliness, infection control measures, and safe drinking water as per BIS/FSSAI standards and sanitation facilities.   Patients have a right to be attended to, treated, and cared for with due skill in a professional manner in complete consonance with the principles of medical ethics. 

                According to the media report, carried on 22nd May, 2023, the 281-bed premier government cancer hospital witnesses a footfall of 700 to 1,000 patients daily.  The dogs bite the patients and their attendants and snatch food from them. Also, the dogs can be seen roaming freely in the hospital wards.  The media report specially cited the cases of two cancer patients, who suffered dog bites on the hospital premises and as a result, their time-bound treatment for cancer was delayed.

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