A PIL has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to hospitals and the state government to provide adequate facilities for treatment of non-coronavirus patients during the nationwide lockdown.
The plea sought directions from the High Court to take necessary action against hospitals and medical institutions that refuse treatment to patients suffering from other ailments. It 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.
A PIL filed by advocate Mutahhar Khan referred to news reports and stated that several hospitals in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region have denied admission to patients suffering from other ailments, claiming that their facilities were singularly dedicated for combating the COVID-19 outbreak. Such instances have resulted in fatalities, who had approached the emergency or casualty departments of the hospitals, the plea stated.
The plea also sought from the state government and civic bodies to widely publicise the details of hospitals operational for treatment of illnesses other than COVID-19.
Khan said after he came across media reports about hospitals denying admissions, he verified them independently and found hospitals that were denying admission non-COVID patients. He also said ambulance services had become scarce and, therefore, needy persons were being deprived of timely treatment.
The PIL further stated that due to the increasing number of doctors and medical staff testing positive for coronavirus, several hospitals and medical facilities in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai have suspended their regular functioning.
It was submitted that out-patient departments in most hospitals are closed, while elective procedures at in-patient departments have been deferred as per government advisories.
Khan’s PIL has sought directions to the state and health authorities to provide facilities to persons suffering from other ailments than COVID-19 and announce a list of such hospitals. The HC is likely to hear the PIL next week.
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