Private doctors and hospitals cannot refuse services to patients amid pandemic, says Bombay HC |
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Private doctors and hospitals cannot refuse services to patients amid pandemic, says Bombay HC
Press Trust of India,  11 September 2020
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On Thursday, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court said that a sick person cannot be sent away from the hospitals because of shortage of beds or hospital staff. The order came as the hospitals are taking decisions on their own and there are problems that are faced by patients at hospitals in the district amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

A division bench of Justices Pushpa Ganediwala and Ravi Deshpande said that the main issue where they need the courts attention is making available ventilators and beds to patients to reduce the death rate.

The bench said that they want all doctors and para-medical staff to be increased due to the severity of the current situation and also be available 24X7 in this pandemic. The court does not want any situation where the patients has to travel from one hospital to another hospital to get a bed in the ICU, ventilated beds or due to non-availability of doctors and medical staff go to another hospital. If a hospital cannot accommodate a patient then the authorities should provide assistance to the patient to reach another hospital.

Admission in the hospital cannot be denied to the patients on the basis of non-availability of medical and para-medical staff. Private doctors are also under responsibility to provide treatment. The safeguarding of human life is of supreme importance. Once a life is lost, it cannot be restored. Every doctor in government or private hospitals is under commitment to extend their services. The responsibility of the state government is to make doctors and medical staff available from all sources.

The bench was guaranteed by the Indian Medical Association and also by hospitals association that they will submit a list of all the private doctors who are rendering their services at hospitals in the city.

The court has been informed by the Nagpur district Collector that a task force of around 12 doctors is formed for assigning their duties and responsibilities to all the doctors in hospitals. The court had posted this matter for further hearing on September 15.

Source: Firstpost

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