The Bombay High Court on Friday while hearing PIL on refusal of treatment to non-covid patients has sought realistic suggestions from the petitioners on minimising the extant of suffering of patients.
In the batch of PILs, common issues were raised, such as COVID and Non-COVID affected patients have been refused treatment in Government as well as Private Hospitals leading to death of number of them and families of elderly COVID affected patients have been forced to wait day and night for hours just for routine medical examination. Also, in the absence of requisite medical facilities made available for Non-COVID patients, many of them was unnecessarily suffered and even succumbed to their respective ailment/disease without proper treatment.
Another grievance of the petitioner was that major hospitals and nursing homes in the city of Mumbai have closed down due to spread of COVID-19 and that the State and the Corporation have, despite genuine efforts, failed to ensure adequate medical facilities for treatment of patients suffering from ailments other than COVID.
The PIL was vehemently opposed by the Counsel for the state. He disputed that arrangements have not been made for treatment of Non-COVID patients. It was said by him that sufficient arrangements were in place to look after the needs of Non-COVID patients.
Thereafter, the petitioners’ counsel apprised the High Court that the petitioners as well as the private institutions have valuable suggestions to offer which, if accepted and implemented by the Corporation and the State, would go a long way to ensure better health conditions for COVID as well as Non-COVID patients.
Acting upon the plea, the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta & Justice A.A. Sayed, observed that “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. Despite the initial opposition, Mr Sakhare has also fairly submitted that if at all the petitioners’ suggestions are of any worth, the Corporation will look into the same.”
The High Court directed to the petitioners as well as the private institutions to make a single set of compilation of all their suggestions by Sunday next and to forward the same to the Counsel for the State as well as the Corporation for proper consideration thereof upon due application of mind.
The High Court has listed the case for further hearing on 22nd May, 2020.
–India Legal Bureau