Ensure medical services for those with non-COVID health issues: HC

Hospitals must not refuse treatment to pregnant women and the ailing, says bench

Telangana High Court on Friday directed the government to appoint nodal officers in all red zones or hot spots — localities witnessing a high number of COVID-19 cases — so that people living there can rely on them to access non-COVID health services.

The HC instructed the government to ensure that all non-COVID hospitals do not refuse treatment to pregnant women and patients suffering from cancer and other ailments. Contact numbers of the nodal officers should be publicised through media and posted on the websites of Medical and Health department.

Lacunae in services

The order was passed by a bench of Justices M.S. Ramachandra Rao and K. Lakshman while hearing two PIL petitions over the death of a woman and her newborn reportedly due to lacunae in emergency medical services in government hospitals.

The woman hailed from Gadwal and had to be taken to different government hospitals for delivery. She and her newborn died eventually. The bench said the government machinery should ensure pregnant women requiring medical facilities are safely shifted to non-COVID hospitals at the earliest.

Vehicles carrying pregnant women, accompanied by an attendant, should be permitted to visit doctors or for regular medical check-up. Their movement to scanning centres or purchasing medicines should not be obstructed, the bench said.

Referring to compensation to the family of the dead woman, the bench instructed the government to file a detailed counter affidavit. Advocate General B.S. Prasad said the Chief Secretary has ordered an inquiry into the death of the woman and baby.

Compensation, action

After receiving the inquiry report, the government would decide upon the quantum of compensation to be paid to the victim’s family and action to be initiated against the persons responsible for her death. The pleas were posted to Tuesday for next hearing.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:28:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ensure-services-for-those-with-non-covid-health-issues-hc/article31596168.ece

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