New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today stayed the Delhi government’s order directing private hospitals to reserve 80 percent of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients. The petition alleged that the decision of reserving the beds is denying them treatment, as well as exposing non-COVID-19 patients to the risk of COVID-19.
Justice Navin Chawla noted: “The disease itself cannot be ground for reservation.” The bench further noted that the order is prima facie arbitrary and violates Article 21.
The petition was filed by the Association of Healthcare Providers seeking quashing of the government order. The petition claimed that the impugned order was passed in an arbitrary, unfair and illegal manner without even realizing the difficulties that may be faced by the private nursing homes and hospitals.
“As the gaunt healthcare system in Delhi endeavors to break the tide of this pandemic, the highest cost of this fight is borne by the non-COVID-19 patients, for several months, OPD and non-emergency services were stopped in several hospitals in Delhi so that all resources were diverted for combating COVID-19 and emergency medical care,”
the petition stated.
On this, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that the State Govt will challenge today’s decision by the Delhi High Court.
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The petition also sought directions to the state government to allow private hospitals to limit the ICU bed capacity for COVID-19 patients to 40 percent.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on October 16.
-India Legal Bureau
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