The treatment of “urgent and non-urgent patients” at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), allegedly stopped in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, will be provided by a team of experts, the Delhi High Court has been informed.
The court was hearing a plea by advocate Karan Seth, who sought direction to provide free-of-cost medical treatment to over 100 out station patients at AIIMS which allegedly stopped treating them after the COVID-19 outbreak. The contention on behalf of the AIIMS was made by its counsel before a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar.
The bench on May 1 had sought to know from the Centre and Delhi government the number of hospitals where the patients, who were earlier being provided treatment at AIIMS, “could receive treatment for ailments other than Covid-19, free-of-cost according to their eligibility”.
Delhi government’s Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra and Additional Standing Counsel Gautam Narayan, submitted that “out of 37 hospitals administered by the GNCTD, only two have been converted into exclusive COVID-19 facilities, and the remaining 35 hospitals continue to provide treatment to non- COVID-19 patients irrespective of their place of residence.”
On the statement made by the counsel for the AIIMS, the bench sought clarity from the institution, as to “how exactly AIIMS is proposing to provide treatment to non-urgent patients, who are housed either at Gargi School, or at rain baseras/ night shelters.”
Senior Advocate Darpan Wadhwa, appearing for the Seth, during the hearing also pointed that social distancing norms are not being maintained in respect of those who continue to be housed at rain basera/ night shelter, opposite to AIIMS.
Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) counsel Parvinder Chauhan, conceded that social distancing norms are not being maintained in the rain basera/night shelters, on account of the large number of occupants. He submitted that it may be necessary to shift about 100 occupants either to Vishram Sadan of AIIMS – if additional capacity is available there, or to Gargi School, or to Radha Swami Satsang at Bhati, wherever they could be accommodated.
The Delhi government has submitted that the facility at Radha Swami Satsang is very well managed. “However, the said organization has to be consulted, in case, the occupants of the night shelter/ rain basera, or some of them, have to be shifted there,” Mehra said, adding that he shall instruct the DM-South to take up the issue with Radha Sawmi Satsan to take in more inmates since, evidently, there is still capacity available at the said facility.
Taking note of which, the bench directed the counsel for AIIMS to take instructions, whether these inmates of the night shelter, or some of them, can be accommodated within their Vishram Sadan, considering the fact that these patients are receiving treatment at AIIMS.
“Alternatively, the DUSIB shall also explore the possibility of accommodating some of them at Gargi School,” the bench said, adding that “let the position with regard to availability of each of the facilities be made available to the court on the next date of hearing, May 14.
The court also directed the DM-South to make transportation facility available to the inmates at Gargi School, for them to be able to travel to AIIMS whenever required for the purpose of receiving treatment.
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