Delhi HC seeks list of hospitals treating outstation patients

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Central and Delhi governments to submit a list of hospitals where outstation patients suffering from non Covid-19 ailments can be treated, while it was hearing a plea seeking free treatment for many outstation patients at AIIMS which allegedly stopped treating them after coronavirus outbreak.

“We direct the Union of India and the GNCTD to place on record the list of hospitals where these patients could receive treatment for ailments other than Covid-19, free-of-cost according to their eligibility. Respondent No.4 shall also state whether these patients could be provided treatment at AIIMS itself, as they were receiving earlier,” said a division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Yogesh Khanna.

The orders were passed as the court heard a petition filed by Karan Seth seeking urgent relief for about more than 350 severely ill patients and their family members/care givers currently occupying night shelters and tents in and around the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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Advocate Darpan Wadhva, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that many of these patients are suffering from serious ailments such as cancer, and their natural immunity is low, and some of these patients run the risk of contracting Covid-19, if they continue to live in such conditions.

The court has also asked the petitioner to prepare a list of patients in respect of whom the PIL has been preferred. “The said list should include their name, age, the particular ailment that they are suffering from,” the order read.

During the course of hearing, advocate Anupam Srivastava, appearing for the Delhi government, told the court that the issue of providing accommodation to these patients was the responsibility of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) and therefore, it should also be made a party in the case.

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Following which the court issued notice to DUSIB and made it a party.

Appearing for AIIMS, advocate Anand Varma appraised the court that the main AIIMS facility is not an exclusive Covid-19 facility, and it continues to treat patients with other ailments. He pointed out that about ten days back, a team of doctors from the AIIMS have visited the shelters and identified those patients who required hospitalisation.

“Two such patients were admitted in the concerned departments of the AIIMS,” Varma said adding that he may be granted time to place on record a status report. The court will now hear the matter on May 8.

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