PIL for Daily Update of Covid-19 Patient Condition to Family; HC Seeks Centre, Delhi Govt's Reply

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Family members or attendants of COVID-19 patients should be kept updated about their condition and treatment being provided, a PIL has sought in the Delhi High Court which on Thursday asked for the Centre and Delhi government’s stand on the issue. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Delhi government seeking their response to the plea by an NGO which has contended that presently families only receive news about the death of a patient or demand for deposit of the hospital charges.

It has said that providing the daily updates about patients’ condition would “develop confidence and trust in the system of governance”. The NGO, Manav Awaaj Trust, has sought a direction to the Delhi government “to frame a policy and/ or guideline for communication of status report” every 24 hours to family or attendants of patients about their condition, treatment provided and details of the attending doctors.

It said the status reports can be communicated via WhatsApp, SMS, email or any other mode or an option can be given to family members or attendants to collect the report from the hospital daily at a specified time. The NGO said there are no guidelines and/or directions to ensure that the attendant of a COVID-19 patient is updated about the condition or status of the patient regularly on daily basis.

“The community at large is losing confidence, trust and faith in the working of the government and private hospitals in the absence of a system or machinery where the attendant is briefed or updated about treatment administered to the patient and actual status or condition of the patient thereof regularly on daily basis by the hospital authorities.

“Only news reaching them is either of death of the patient or demand for the deposit of more fee. That the family members/attendants are time and again neglected by the hospitals, but for the clearance of bills,” it said.

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