DELHI LT. GOVERNOR ISSUES DIRECTION AGAINST DELHI GOVT. ORDER TO DENY MEDICAL TREATMENT TO NON-RESIDENTS
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Monday overruled the Arvind Kejriwal government’s decision to restrict people from other states from getting COVID-19 treatment at Delhi government-run hospitals. Invoking powers as the Chairperson of Delhi Disaster Management Authority, the Delhi LG ordered that no person should be denied treatment on the ground of not being a resident of Delhi. Overruling another controversial order, Baijal said that the asymptomatic too should be examined. The move may trigger a confrontation between the AAP dispensation and the LG office.
In his first order, Baijal made it clear that the Supreme Court has invariably held in several successive judgments that ‘Right to Health’ is an integral part of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The LG said all government, private hospitals, and nursing homes and clinics situated in the national capital of Delhi have to extend medical facilities to all COVID-19 patients coming for monitoring and treatment without any discrimination of being resident or non-resident of Delhi.
“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 18(3) of the Disaster Management Act, the undersigned in his capacity as the Chairperson of the DDMA, hereby directs all departments and authorities concerned of NCT of Delhi, to ensure that monitoring/treatment is not denied to any patient on the ground of not being a resident of NCT of Delhi,” he said in his order.
In his second order, the LG overruled the city government’s order for coronavirus testing only for symptomatic patients. Baijal said all nine categories people, including asymptomatic, as prescribed by the ICMR should be examined in the national capital.
LG’s directions have created a huge challenge for the people of Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet today. “Providing treatment for people coming from all over the country during the coronavirus epidemic is a big challenge. May God bless us to serve the people of the whole country. We will try to provide treatment to all.
Two controversial decisions of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi on testing only those with coronavirus symptoms and blocking hospitals for residents were overruled by the Lieutenant Governor today, in a revival of the center versus Arvind Kejriwal fight.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal overturned the Delhi government’s order on testing only those showing COVID-19 symptoms and said asymptomatic cases and high-risk contacts of a virus patient will also be tested.
Any deviation from the testing rules of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) “can result in further spread of COVID-19 in the capital,” Mr. Baijal said in his order.
Reacting on the move, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “pressurizing” the LG. “BJP pressurized Lieutenant Governor and made him overrule our decision, now priority will not be given to people of Delhi in Delhi hospitals. Why is BJP doing politics over COVID-19 and trying to fail the policies of state governments,” Sisodia asked.
“Delhi government had taken the decision after thorough deliberations so that people of Delhi could get beds & treatment if cases increase in the future. CM had planned how many beds were needed for how many cases & how they will be arranged,” the AAP minister said.
Citing the surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi, resulting in additional demand of hospital beds, Health Secretary ordered that “all the hospitals operating under the Government of NCT of Delhi and all private hospitals and nursing homes shall ensure that only bona fide residents of NCT of Delhi are admitted for treatment in these hospitals”.His order restricting treatment to Delhi residents was issued by Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, GNCTD, on Sunday invoking powers under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.
However, transplantation, oncology, neurosurgeries, treatment for road accident cases, and acid attack cases happening within NCT of Delhi were allowed to continue in all hospitals irrespective of the residence of patients.
The order also listed the documents to show residence status, such as Voter ID, Bank/Kisan/Post Office current Passbook, Ration Card, Driving License, Passport, Income Tax Returns, Latest Water/Telephone/Electricity/Gas Connection Bill in the name of the patient or his/her immediate relations like parents, etc, postal department’s post delivered at the patient’s name at given address, Aadhaar card made prior to June 7.
A petition was filed in the Delhi HC on Monday challenging the order as unconstitutional.