Reports that in many cases the victims of violence in Delhi were not allowed to reach hospitals are very disturbing. Even worse, the ambulances were stopped and searched by the police, and patients’ dressings removed enroute to healthcare facilities. This is against all norms and forms of justice and patients’ rights. A doctor was not able to shift the patent to higher centre because under the circumstances when mob violence was in full swing it was not possible to transport without police support. When he tried to contact the police officials repeatedly, none picked up his calls. The police officials contacted the doctor only after the intervention of the high court at midnight. That led to delay in shifting the patients who were seriously injured.
Health is the biggest victim during a riot situation. This has been observed in different parts of our country recently as well as globally. Violence perpetrated by any section is not pardonable as it leads to physical injuries, mental trauma and death. There develops mistrust among the communities. These have long standing impact not only on the health of the individual but also the society as a whole. There are reports of 53 people having died in the hospitals. Over 350 are reported to be injured. From a visit to the affected area it was found that number of the injured could be much higher as only the grievously injured patients reached the hospitals. Patients with minor to moderate injuries did not go to the hospital. They took treatment from the nearby medical facilities. Many have not even ventured to come out to go to medical personnel because of fear of violence. Such fear exists even today after 10 days of violence.
Several civil society groups are organizing medical camps. Besides common ailments and injuries large number of people suffer from mental health problems some of them of serious nature. The people have been having difficulty in getting the bodies of the dead, the medico-legal reports and postmortem reports of their kith and kin causing them further stress.