A plea has landed before the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Delhi Government to make rules so that details regarding a Covid patient’s condition be made known to the patient’s family once every 24 hours.
The plea demanded that a policy or guideline should be framed, by which hospitals should communicate the status report of the patient, including temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen level, name of the visiting doctor, medicines administered, food, along with the date and time of the said incidences and the overall condition of the patient (better than a day before or worse than the previous day), of the patient, to her/his family members/attendants, at least, once in every 24. This should apply to patients admitted for Covid-19 treatment. This direction has been sought with respect to all the government and private hospitals.
The Delhi High Court today issued notice on this plea. A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh ordered the Centre and the Delhi Government to file their counter-affidavits and fixed July 16 as the next date of hearing.
The plea has raised the following questions of law for the prayer it has sought:
- Whether there is a need to develop more accountability & transparency in the medical treatment of the patient during Covid-19 crisis, to ensure that proper medical care is given to the Covid-19 patients?
- Whether the government of NCT of Delhi and/or the hospitals be directed to frame policy and guideline for timely updating the family members/attendants about the status of the patient?
- What should be done to ensure more accountability and transparency in the treatment of the patients of Covid-19?
The plea submits that the Delhi government has not issued any guideline or policy for providing status reports of the Covid-19 patients admitted in hospitals to the attendants or family members therefore they are not aware about the status of the condition of the patient. They are neither informed by anyone, nor are they provided proper responses on their requisitions.
The plea has further suggested that in the modern world communication via WhatsApp, email, SMS is not a challenge and every hospital can at least once in a day apprise the family members of the status of their beloved one, admitted in the hospital, to develop faith and confidence in the people towards the machinery of the State, which would also reduce the commotion among the masses.