By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], April 30 (ANI): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking directions for framing guidelines for affording health services including oxygen cylinders, medical consultations, injections, testing and plasma therapy to home bound patients and who have been denied admission in hospitals due to unavailability beds.
The plea was listed for hearing on Friday before the bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh but the bench did not assemble so the matter is likely to be heard by the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palko, who is already examining the various petitions related to shortage of oxygen supply, drugs and beds.
The Petitioner, Aseemit Social Projects Foundation through Advocate Sarthak Maggon sought issuance of provision of oxygen cylinders to critically ill patients undergoing home care treatment in the wake of the prevalent COVID-19 situation in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The plea stated that there is an immediate need to assist patients in self-isolation due to the non-availability of beds. Further, no guidelines have been formulated by the state government for patients who have been turned away by the hospitals and who are desperately trying to procure any form of Covid medical resources such as medicine, oxygen cylinders, Remdesivir injections, plasma donors, doctors and nurses. This aggravates the situation even more because given the nature of the present virus, even the family members/ care-givers are usually Covid positive, therefore by remaining present in the long queues pose an imminent threat to others who may not have been exposed to the virus.
It further added that there are an overwhelming number of newspaper reports varying data of deaths of critically ill coronavirus patients in Delhi NCR because of non-availability of primary medical facilities such as an oxygen bed, essential drugs such as Remdesivir and oxygen cylinders. It has been widely reported that the healthcare infrastructure in the state of Delhi NCR is at the brink of collapse and in no capacity to handle the dreadful surge in positive cases of infection in the region.
Several Hospitals have already approached the High Court citing issues of shortage of medical oxygen and shortage of essential life saving drugs in their stockpile.
The plea also mentioned that in the backdrop of this terrible situation where lives are lost by the minute because of the overwhelmed healthcare system, it becomes very essential that the patients who are not able to get admission in hospitals are subjected to home care treatments of coronavirus. Procurement and allocation of resources such as oxygen cylinders and other essential drugs such as Fabiflu, Remdesivir becomes of paramount importance.
The petitioner said that the PIL has been filed to bring to the notice of Court there exists absolutely no policy framework announced by the state government or Central government for home treatment of Covid positive patients and procurement of essential medical facilities for such patients.
It sought issuance of directions against black marketing and hoarding of oxygen cylinders and essential drugs like Remdesivir which have been highlighted before Court that has further contributed in worsening the health crisis which the state is already facing. Some deficiencies in the execution and implementation of already existing guidelines have also been pointed out in this PIL which causes a great inconvenience to Covid patients and their family members.
"Issues in processing of cash less insurance claims at designated Covid hospitals and rejection of insurance claims for patients availing home care treatment is another pertinent issue which contributes to the hardships faced by the Covid patients. All of these issues clearly indicate the need of concrete and effective policy steps to be taken by the state and Central government," the plea added. (ANI)