The Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the Delhi government’s order to reserve 80% of the ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in 33 big private hospitals in the city. The petition was filed on Thursday, days after the association submitted a representation to the state government asking it to revoke the order.
“This decision is exposing non-Covid-19 patients to the risk of Covid-19. The order has been issued without any prior discussions with private hospitals… Ignoring the needs of other sicker patients requiring critical care and ICU management at these tertiary care facilities is gross injustice,” the association stated in the petition seeking quashing of the government order.
Amid a surge in the Covid-19 infections, the Delhi government had ordered 33 big private hospitals to reserve 80% of their ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. While announcing the decision, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had stated that the decision was taken after consulting all the private hospitals.
“Currently, non-Covid patients constitute 45-55% of all admissions in the private hospitals in Delhi. Some of these patients are to be mandatorily kept in ICU post their procedure. Hence, reserving ICU beds for Covid patients would mean either hospital don’t admit non-Covid patients facing imminent death (in case surgical interventions are not carried out immediately) or accept sub-optimal outcomes, both of which may not be the intended purpose of the order, but sadly would be the direct result of this order,” the association further stated in the writ petition.
Addressing a virtual conference last week, the AHPI had called the order arbitrary and requested the Delhi government to roll back the order as it will lead to serious repercussions for non-Covid patients.
“Private hospitals routinely get patients involving heart attacks, grievous injuries, acute pulmonary disorders, complex fractures, and even other conditions like cancer, transplant and cardiac patients, which require urgent interventions and critical care. Reserving 80% beds in the ICU, will deny urgent care to seriously ill patients, requiring vital surgical interventions and critical care,” said Dr Girdhar Gyani, director of AHPI.
A Delhi government spokesperson did not comment.
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