A PIL was filled in the Delhi High Court for providing safety equipment to working staffs. The nurses, paramedics and even the housekeeping staff in hospitals were to be provided with masks and PPE Kits. This was irrespective of whether that facility has been declared as a COVID facility or not.
The petitioner being a staff nurse appointed on a contractual basis at the HAH Centenary Hospital of Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Delhi. The petitioner has submitted the following prayers:
The petitioner prays the court to issue either a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order directing respondents to
- Take action against the HAH Centenary Hospital of Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (HIMSR)
- Formulate a COVID19 Management Protocol for addressing the serious concerns relating to imminent and extreme risks posed to the health and safety of health care workers in the State of NCT of Delhi
- Ensure that Covid-19 protection kits are made available to every single health care professional
- Ensure the full and timely payment of salaries to the health care workers in the Private Hospitals
- Ensure that Private Hospitals are not charging or deducting salaries from Health care workers if they get infected Covid-19 while they are on duty
- Ensure that all health care workers are trained on infection prevention and control (IPC), proper use and disposal of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
- Ensure that adequate and standard nutritious meals, drinking water are provided to the health care workers working in the corona isolation wards
- Expand the scope of personal accident cover provided under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’ to include all health care workers across sectors, including those recruited on an ad-hoc basis
The Court has taken the reference of its own orders, dated 24th of July 2020, Distress Management Collective vs. Union of India & Ors (W.P. (C) No. 3599/2020). The court in its former judgement has talked in great lengths about the security that is to be provided to the hospital staff. The order necessitates every registered hospital in Delhi, should file an undertaking that necessary PPE Kits, N-95 masks and other protective equipment are being made available to their staff including nurses, paramedic and housekeeping staff.
In the same order, it was stated that under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana’ a comprehensive personal accident cover of ₹50,00,000/- has been provided to 22.12 lakh healthcare workers and community workers, who were in direct contact of the patients. Also, the nurses and health workers in private hospitals and nursing homes which are drafted for COVID-19 related responsibilities were to receive a personal accident cover of ₹50 lakh.
The learned judge, Justice Jyoti Singh disposed of the petition stating, the no further order is required to be passed by the court in the present petition. The court though directed the hospital to ensure all the necessary safety equipment are provided to the health workers. The judge also directed the hospital to release any outstanding salary of the petitioner.
The learned judge concluded the judgement stating:
Nurses and Doctors are the frontline health workers rendering selfless service in the most unprecedented and challenging times faced by the Nation due to COVID-19. These health workers are indeed executing a Herculean and incredible task and no words can be apt to applaud them. Exposing themselves to the risk and being in an unenviable position, they are dedicatedly serving the Society.
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