New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed till the next date of hearing the Delhi government order instructing a group of big private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80 per cent of their ICU beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients.
A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla sought the response of the respondents and slated the matter for further hearing on October 16.
The plea, filed by the Association of Healthcare Providers India through advocates Sanyam Khetarpal and Narita Yadav, said the order has been passed in an arbitrary, unfair, and illegal manner without realising the difficulties that may be faced by private hospitals and nursing homes.
Moreover, the plea said that no consideration has been given to the fact that non-COVID patients may suffer fatal consequences owing to their prolonged or sudden illness and due to the non-availability of ICU/HDU beds they may not be able to endure the disease.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the order has been passed without application of mind as despite noting the fact that majority of ICU/HDU beds in private hospitals are fully occupied.
"Order directed reservation of 80 per cent of beds in ICU/HDU for COVID patients thereby jeopardizing both the health and life of non-COVID patients on the one hand and the effective functioning of healthcare facilities on the other," the plea said.
It said that the order has been issued without any prior discussions with private hospitals to understand the current demand-supply situation of critical care beds.
"The order is exposing non-COVID patients to the risk of COVID. Ignoring the needs of other sicker patients requiring critical care and ICU management at these tertiary care facilities is a gross injustice. Critically ill patients in Delhi are denied access to the requisite level of intensive medical treatment in ICUS/HDUS as required and constitutionally guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," it added.
The plea said that in Haryana, the District Magistrate of Gurugram has through an order dated September 14 directed reservation of only a minimum of 35 per cent of bed capacity in all public and private hospitals for treatment of COVID cases.
It mentioned that private hospitals routinely get patients with heart attacks, grievous injuries, acute pulmonary disorders, complex fractures, and even other conditions like cancer, transplant and cardiac patients which require urgent interventions and critical care.
"Reserving 80 per cent beds in the ICUs will deny urgent care to seriously ill patients, requiring vital surgical interventions and critical care. These beds, which may constitute 15 per cent to 20 per cent of overall ICU bed capacity in some of the hospitals, are not usable for COVID patients since very rarely does a COVID patient of that age require critical care," the plea said. (ANI)