The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to take strict action against hospitals and medical centres that deny admission to deserving patients merely over lack of a positive RT-PCR COVID-19 test report.
In an order passed on Wednesday, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said the state authorities must act against hospitals and medical centres that violated guidelines issued by the state and Centre last month on admitting suspected COVID-19 patients.
The bench was referring to circulars issued by the state government and the Union government on May 17 and May 8, respectively. The circulars direct hospitals or medical centres to not deny admission or medical aid to any patient on any count.
The High Court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Wilson K Jaiswal, seeking directions to ensure that all hospitals, health centres, COVID-19 centres, etc., across the state, admit suspected COVID-19 patients, without insisting on an RT-PCR test report.
Mr Jaiswal, in his plea, said some patients tested negative in their RT PCR tests, but their CT scans showed that they were suffering from COVID-19. Hence, such patients must not be denied treatment or hospital admission based on their negative RT-PCR reports, the plea stated.
The court said both the state and the Centre had already issued guidelines in the circulars to prevent such inconvenience to citizens, and what remained, was the strict implementation of the guidelines.
"It can never be conceived that any person who has developed any common Covid symptom without reason would approach for getting admitted to a hospital or medical centre," the court said.
"We urge the state government to take strict action against such hospitals/medical centres, who flout these guidelines," it said.
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