THE BOMBAY High Court on Friday directed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to consider suggestions by various petitioners and private institutions about facilities offered to non-Covid patients across hospitals run by the government and the civic body, and noted that every possible option ought to be explored so that the “suffering of people at large can be minimised”.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice A A Sayed was hearing a batch of pleas filed by Mehrwan Farshed, Mutahhar Khan and Dayanand Stalin seeking relief for non-Covid patients, stating that they were being refused treatment in government as well as private hospitals, and this had led to deaths.
The pleas sought directions from the High Court to take action against hospitals and medical institutions refusing treatment to patients suffering from ailments other than Covid-19. They also sought from the state government to ensure adequate ambulance facilities to ferry patients suffering from Covid-19 as well as other medically compromised patients and, if required, state-run or private buses to be converted into ambulance.
Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare, representing the BMC, opposed the pleas and submitted that sufficient arrangements are in place to look after the needs of non-Covid patients. However, if petitioners’ suggestions are of any worth, the BMC will look into them, he said.
The bench noted that petitioners as well as private institutions have valuable suggestions to offer which, if accepted and implemented by the civic body and state, will go a long way to ensure better health conditions for Covid as well as non-Covid patients.
The bench said, “Having regard to the havoc wreaked by Covid and in the absence of any therapeutic cure of the disease, every possible option ought to be explored so that the suffering of the people at large can be minimised to the extent possible. If indeed what the petitioners and the private institutions suggest are of any help or assistance to mankind, we see no reason as to why the state and the corporation may not consider the same in its true perspective.”
The HC granted liberty to petitioners as well as private institutions to compile their suggestions and forward it to the respondents, the state and the BMC.
The court also directed the authorities to file a report indicating steps proposed to be taken based on suggestions and posted further hearing on May 22.
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