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The petition moved by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) had said that the decision of the government is exposing non-Covid patients to the virus. (HT)
The petition moved by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) had said that the decision of the government is exposing non-Covid patients to the virus. (HT)

Delhi HC adjourns hearing on reservation of private ICU beds for Covid patients

  • The Delhi high court will next hear the matter on reservation of ICU beds in 33 private hospitals on 9 December
  • The Delhi government on 12 September ordered private hospitals to reserve 80% ICU beds for Covid-19 patients

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Thursday adjourned the matter pertaining to reservation of 80% ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in 33 private hospitals till 9 December owing to the current situation in the national capital.

The reservation would continue till the next date of hearing. The division bench of the high court on 12 November had vacated the stay and allowed the reservation on the last date of hearing while sending the case to the single judge bench. The court had, however, said that this order is not constant and can be changed based on the situation on ground.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had issued an order on 12 September asking 33 private hospitals in the city to reserve 80% ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

This order was stayed by the high court on 22 September on a petition by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India). The bench had held that such a direction was in violation of the fundamental rights of those patients who had other serious health conditions.

The Delhi government had challenged the 22 September order before a two-judge bench in the high court and also approached the Supreme Court with a special leave petition on 5 November. The government’s plea stated that the courts cannot interfere with policy decisions of the state, especially when the policy decision is taken in public interest. The Supreme Court on 10 November had refused to vacate the stay granted by Delhi high court and asked the state government to approach the high court's division bench.

The petition moved by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) had said that the decision of the government is exposing non-Covid patients to the virus.

“We are in the midst of the pandemic. Everyday, it is a game of chess with it. The point I am making is that the upsurge is extraordinary. There are three stages mild, moderate and serious. We have a need to increase the number of beds. When we're asking hospitals to reserve beds for Covid patients, it is evident that these patients would also require help with lungs, hearts, etc. There's a need to increase the number of beds," Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi government, submitted before the court.

“This decision is exposing non Covid-19 patients to the risk of Covid-19. The order has been issued without any prior discussions with private hospitals to understand the current demand-supply situation of critical care beds. Ignoring the needs of other sicker patients requiring critical care and ICU management at these tertiary care facilities is gross injustice," The plea by the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) reads.

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