The present writ petition (Yash Aggarwal & Anr. v. Union of India and Ors.) has been moved by the Petitioners, Yash Aggarwal and Chitrakshi, in front of the Delhi High Court on 13th April 2020, for enforcement of the rights of the citizens under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petition pleas to seek a direction to be issued by the Respondents to all the Hospitals to provide proper treatment to the parties suffering from any disease, illness or injury other than COVID-19 and also make available the facilities of OPD and other necessities to all the patients, along with patients suffering from COVID-19.
The respondents in the instant petition are the governing body for the Government Hospitals in the National Capital Region of Delhi, and the Registration Body of Doctors with recognised qualifications in India.
The petitioner argues that due to the Lockdown, many OPDs has been shut down for all illnesses other than COVID-19 and the patients are denied from consulting their doctors or get the necessary treatments. Moreover, the patients suffering from chronic diseases and those who need necessary facilities are not given treatment in both private and government hospitals, as many hospitals are only treating patients suffering from COVID-19 and the other hospitals are afraid to treat the patients thinking they might be carrying the virus.
The petitioner, in order to emphasise upon their argument, points out that one patient namely Ashok Kumar aged about 61 years, was advised by his doctor to get Dialysis thrice a week at Mool Chand Hospital. However, during the lockdown, the said hospital did not carry out the Dialysis and the patient had to get it done in another hospital located 20 km away from his house. Similarly, a patient who had suffered kidney failure and the spinal problem was advised to get Dialysis twice a week, however, when he approached the hospital where he used to get the Dialysis done, the said hospital asked him to go to another one.
The petitioner further argues that cancer, as well as psychiatric patients, are majorly affected due to the non-treatment in hospitals. The petitioner has emphasised upon the point by stating that “in case the facilities are not made to facilitate and continue treatment for people with psychiatric illness, it could lead to humanitarian crisis.” Cancer patients are also facing a huge crisis as various hospitals are rejecting the treatment for cancer, including the patients’ chemotherapy.
The petitioner further state that admission in hospitals such as Indian Institute of Allied Science, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital has considerably reduced after the outbreak of COVID-19. The petitioner also highlights the fact that various hospitals are not letting patients, with high body temperature, into the premises of the hospital.
The petitioner is anticipating to seek the indulgence of the Court to give direction to the Government and Indian Medical Council to take necessary action to treat the patients suffering from illnesses, diseases and injuries other than COVID-19, and also direct the Hospitals, both Government as well as private, and Doctors to run their clinics as it is an essential life-saving service.
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