Delhi High Court issues notice on plea seeking Covid-19 compliant maternal care centres in all Delhi hospitals

The Delhi High Court has issued notice in a petition seeking availability of Covid-19 protocol compliant specialized maternal care centers in all Hospitals in Delhi for pregnant and lactating women, amongst other reliefs.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli on Tuesday granted the petitioners one week’s time to file an additional affidavit, setting out the names of the hospitals, where they claimed to have received inadequate medical care and attention.

The petition further sought the following reliefs:

• to provide critical services and entitlements mandated by law to the petitioners during their pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period. 

• to immediately release the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) entitlements amount due to the petitioners.

• to issue guidelines to private hospitals to ensure access to free of cost health services to pregnant women and lactating mothers from socio-economically marginalised communities.

• to operate a specialised helpline, connected with an ambulance for pregnant and lactating women, to be able to access health facilities of their choice, during the ongoing pandemic.

• to provide adequate Covid-19 protective gears to frontline health workers and health insurance to frontline health workers, to enable them to provide services to pregnant women and lactating mothers, during the ongoing pandemic.

• to provide litigation costs associated with this petition along with appropriate compensation for the mental, physical and economic hardships endured by the petitioners.

Advocate Jayshree Satpute, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that on account of the surge of cases due to the pandemic in the country, in the recent past, most of the government-run hospitals have been discouraging pregnant women from making physical visits to the hospitals and even now, when they do visit the hospitals for necessary medical check-up in view of the improved situation, they are not being meted out the urgent and compassionate medical care.

Satpute informed the court that the petitioners are being deprived of the benefits available to pregnant women under the PMMVY scheme on the account of it being rejected, as they had not registered themselves under the Scheme within the time period prescribed.

She further requested that the Government Hospitals be sensitised to such issues, in order to ensure pregnant women like the petitioner are not compelled to run from pillar to post to avail assistance.

Advocate Gautam Narayan, appearing for the Delhi Government, submitted that since the petitioners have not disclosed the name of any hospital where they claim to have faced such hardship as alleged in the petition, they be directed to disclose the names of the hospitals, where they claim to have not been given the adequate medical attention. The matter has been listed for further hearing on October 28.

Read the order here:

Seema-v.-UOI-Ors-Order

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