The Delhi High Court has said that if any citizen has grievance with regard to an inadequate attention and treatment at the hospitals in the national capital, they can approach the competent authorities in the government, who will ensure that “non-COVID patients are also taken care of.”
Noting that the Central government and Delhi government have already formulated detailed guidelines for putting into place an effective system of treating non-COVID illnesses and diseases to the best of their capacity, given the enormity of the calamity they are faced with, the bench observed that “non-COVID-19 patients suffering from cancer or kidney diseases, etc. are not being treated, is incorrect”.
“Needless to state that, if any citizen have any grievance, it can approach the competent authorities in the government, to seek appropriate redressal through the helplines and dedicated WhatsApp numbers.
“Respondents (Central government and Delhi government) will give wide publicity to the helpline numbers and continue to render medical aid and assistance to the citizens. The Committee which has already been constituted to oversee the health issues would continue to monitor the situation to ensure that non-COVID patients are also taken care of,” it said.
The court’s observation and direction came on a PIL by Yash Aggarwal and Chitrakshi, who sought direction to “treat the patients of other diseases also and direct the hospitals, both government and private, as well as doctors to run their clinics, as it is an essential life-saving service”.
The plea claimed that, some “hospitals are denying treatment or even entry in hospital premises if they are having high body temperature when tested on the entry gate.”
On which, Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia and Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Satyakam, submitted that “steps in aid of providing medical treatment would continue to be taken earnestly, with respect to the non-COVID patients, having medical emergencies as well as those patients who need treatments such as chemotherapy, dialysis, etc. Medical care is also assured to pregnant women, both during pregnancy and at the time of delivery.”
“Special mention has been made in the Guidelines for care and medical treatment for the elderly/disabled and palliative care patients. It is also mentioned that services for patients with blood disorders would also be ensured and blood banks have been directed to remain operational,” the court said, adding that “there is a clear direction that all Health Services including Ayush would remain functional, such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, tele-medicine facilities as well as dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, medical laboratories and Collection Centres.”
“…There can hardly be any doubt that given the magnitude of the calamity and the pandemic, the task undertaken by the health workers or the other workers on the frontline, both inside and outside the hospital, of rendering medical aid and treatment to a patient suffering with COVID-19, is a gigantic and herculean task,” the bench observed.
The 18-page order, which was made available Sunday late evening, further observed that “…Every single day is posing new challenges. At this stage, therefore, for anyone to undermine the efforts put by the medical staff or the Government agencies in providing medical aid and assistance, would, in our view, not only be wholly unfair and inappropriate but also de-motivating for those working dedicatedly and tirelessly, 24×7 on ground.”
The High Court, however, applauded and commended the work being done by the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and all others associated with them in various hospitals and dispensaries and clinics.
“We also appreciate the brilliant work being done by the other government agencies on the administrative side including police, armed forces, paramilitary forces, to name a few, who amongst other tasks are helping the health workers,” a bench of Justice J R Midha and Justice Jyoti Singh said.Delhi
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines