The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to appoint a Nodal Officer to look into the grievances of the healthcare workers, including nurses of private nursing homes amid the COVID 19 pandemic.
Delhi government, in its affidavit, submitted that it has directed all registered hospitals, both government and private hospitals registered in the national capital, whether it a designated COVID facility or not, to provide PPE Kits, N-95 masks, and other protective equipment to their staff including nurses, paramedic and housekeeping staff.
The Court has also refused to interfere with the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana while stating that the state can always create such classification and give benefits to those working with the COVID-19 Patients.
The petitioner submitted before the Court that the nurses not working with the COVID-19 patients should also be included in the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna and there should be no discrimination between those working with CPVOD-19 patients and those not working with the COVID-19 patients.
“Such schemes are created keeping in view the funds available and the same would affect the budget. Not much is left to be addressed in this matter, it ought to keep in mind the authorities who have issued the official order, it shall see that the same is implemented,” said bench headed by the Chief Justice, D.N. Patel, and Justice Prateek Jalan.
The Court didn’t accept the contention by giving a list of reasons;
- Policy decisions to be taken care of by the respondents.
- Nurses working with Covid-19 patients are at higher risk.
- The Court will be extremely slow in interfering with the policy decisions.
- If we include both of them in the PMGKY budget will be affected, as such schemes were formulated according to the availability of the budget.
The bench, while disposing of the plea, said that PPE kits and N95 masks should be provided by these nursing homes to their staff and an undertaking is to be given.
Whereas, The Court appreciating the work of the respondents, stated that the respondents have taken care of this situation.
The Court has also directed to properly execute the notification dated 14th July and all the nursing homes and private hospitals shall comply. The Court further added that we see no reason to further monitor the case and hence, the matter is disposed of.
The court was hearing a petition, filed by NGO Distress Management Collective, seeking to cover insurance protection of all the private sector nurses under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package and to provide them proper psycho-social support.
-India Legal Bureau