Take action against hospitals for not providing update on beds: HC

The High Court on Thursday asked the Centre and Delhi governments to take stern action against hospitals in the Capital, which are not providing real time update of the availability of beds for treating COVID-19 patients.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan made the observation after it was informed that four hospitals - RML, GTB, Apollo and Saroj - were not updating the real time availability of beds in websites and mobile app.

The amicus curiae, appointed by the court to assist in the case, said when he had called some of the hospitals asking the availability of beds, they were hesitant to share details.

The court said that the officers appointed by the government were not verifying whether the hospitals were actually updating the real time data. “Either change your officer or we will do it. What the amicus has shown, your officers are unable to see. What is this?,” the court remarked.

The court told the hospitals to be adamant. “Be strict in your approach. You are mighty governments. You should know what to do when your guidelines are not being obeyed by a few hospitals.”

The court was hearing a petition initiated by it on the basis of a video clip of a man, who had to run from pillar to post to get his mother hospitalised after she tested COVID-19 positive.

Testing kits

On the issue of availability of sufficient testing kit for the expected increase in COVID-19 cases in the coming days, the Delhi government, represented by standing counsel Rahul Mehra, said that they were at least 15-20 days ahead with regard to the requirement of testing kits.

Mr Mehra also said that Delhi government’s health department has launched ‘Samarthan’, in association with Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), for providing counselling services related to mental and psychological trauma faced by the frontline workers.

He submitted that currently 4,000 to 5,000 beds are lying vacant in both private and government hospitals in the city. However, asymptomatic or patients with mild symptoms are told not to be admitted in the hopsitals. Otherwise, the entire system will collapse, Mr. Mehra said.

Additionally, all government hospitals are treating the COVID-19 patient free of cost, he said.

While Mr. Mehra said that the Delhi government has been able to augment the total number of ambulances to around 430, the amicus curiae pointed out that the government has not pointed out how many of the ambulances are dedicated for COVID-19 patients alone.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 3:54:23 PM |

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