Taking a strong objection to the 'dismal' state of affairs of Covid-19 patients in the state, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday issued a slew of orders to ensure patients receive timely treatment.
The HC issued a 49-page order on the situation of Covid-19 patients based on the reports over shortage of basic amenities such as hospital beds, Remdesivir and oxygen in major cities including Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore and Jabalpur.
"If this is the scenario in major cities, one can easily imagine the situation in district headquarters, subdivisions and rural areas where the Coronavirus is said to have made inroads," read the order quoting news reports of infrastructure shortfallings.
Advising the state government to adopt a process to regulate the supply of Remdesivir injections, the High Court said it a hassle-free process will ensure that the supplier within an hour should complete the patient’s requisition from the time of the doctor’s prescription.
The court advised the state government to enhance testing for early detection of infection and said that the RT-PCR reports should be offered to the patients within 36 hours.
The state government should take steps to set up more Electric Crematoriums and ordered those out of ordered to be repaired and put into use, the HC said.
The court also instructed the state government to ensure that BPL cardholders covered under Ayushman yojana and Deendayal Antyodaya Upchar Yojana should not be denied treatment by any hospitals.
Since the pandemic is a national calamity, the high court also ordered the Central Government to consider stepping in to arrange the oxygen by diverting the available stock of Liquid Medical Oxygen from the steel Plants and other industries located in different parts of the country. It also suggested that if the supplies of oxygen and Remdesivir remain insufficient to the demands, arrangements for imports to be made.
The HC made it clear that any government or private hospital should not refuse to treat patients suffering from other serious ailments.
It also demanded covid care centres to be reactivated amid a surge in cases. “Consider immediately reactivating 262 hospitals Covid Care Centres (CCC), 62 Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) and 16 Dedicated Covid Hospital (DCH) as per the details furnished to this Court in its order dated May 09, 2020,” HC told the state government.
“However, despite being cognizant of its jurisdictional limitations, this Court, in an extraordinary situation like the present one, when they are brought to its notice, cannot just play a silent spectator,” the HC observed.
The order comes in response to petitions of Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha and six others. Directing the state government to improve the healthcare system in the next 15 days, the HC directed the state government to submit an Action Taken Report on the next hearing on May 10.
Vacancy Data Reflects Poorly on State’s Healthcare System: HC
Referring to a 2019-20 annual report, HC said out of the total 3,620 sanctioned posts of specialists, only 765 are presently working and nearly 2,855 are lying vacant in the state. Out of 5,097 posts of Health Officers, only 3,589 are currently in post and 1,508 posts are vacant.
Asking the state government to update the data in the next 15 days, the court observed that it would poorly reflect the state’s healthcare system if the furnished data reflect the same numbers. The HC also suggested the state government consider reappointing medical officers and other paramedical staffers, nurses who retired in the last two three years.