Other States

COVID-19: Case filed in Assam against hospitals turning patients away

Debabrata Saikia, Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Assam’s leader of the Opposition and senior Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia has gone to court against hospitals refusing to treat patients if they do not produce COVID-19 negative report. The Gauhati High Court has fixed October 19 as the date of hearing.

Mr. Saikia said in his petition that many hospitals in Assam had been turning critically ill patients away due to non-production of coronavirus (COVID-19) certificate.

“Such people also include accident-related critically injured cases, in which urgent medical care is vital and of paramount importance. Resultantly, many people succumbed to their injuries sustained during the accidents. Other vulnerable patients like pregnant women, cardiac patients, etc., are also not admitted in the hospital without the non-COVID medical certificate,” the petition said.

Mr. Saikia said hospitals had been insisting on the certificate despite the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry’s office communication on April 28 to all States and Union Territories that anyone needing any essential critical services, including dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries, should not be denied such services.

The Congress leader filed the public interest litigation petition at a time when the Assam government said the spike in COVID-19 cases has put pressure on the State’s healthcare facilities that are running out of beds while the gap between production and consumption of oxygen has been reducing fast.

2,579 new cases

Assam recorded 2,579 new cases at the “positivity rate” of 7.48% on Tuesday, taking the State’s tally of positive patients to 130,823 with 378 of them having died.

Navanil Barua, a neurosurgeon at a private hospital, had raised an alarm in a Facebook post on September 5, saying all beds in their hospital were occupied.

Health officials admitted the situation was critical, particularly in Guwahati and adjoining areas where 600 people have been testing positive daily on an average.

“The situation warrants adherence to social distancing, wearing masks and leaving home only when it is necessary,” said Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 2:30:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-case-filed-in-assam-against-hospitals-turning-patients-away/article32558803.ece

Next Story