THE SUPREME COURT SLAMS GOVERNMENT FOR NOT PROVIDING PROPER FACILITIES TO NURSES AND DOCTORS.
– SHIVANGI PATHAK
In the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court slammed the government for not providing proper accommodation facilities as well as remuneration to doctors. Therefore, they suggest the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Informing Solicitor General the bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah informed the Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta that the government had to do more in the concern of the health of the doctors and nurses as in the instant matter the intervention of the Court is not required. The PILs, filed by Dr. Jerryl Banait, Dr. Arushi Jain, and Advocate Amit Sahni, on the question that why the doctors are not being paid and wanted the directions to provide suitable spacing and quarantine facilities for medical workers who are engaging and helping the society in this pandemic. In the hard times, it is suggested that the urgent intervention of the Court was required and consequently the Affidavit had been filed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in response to that it is submitted that the final responsibility to protect oneself lay with the doctors themselves.
However, the responsibility lies in the hands of the Hospital Infection Control Committee (HICC) implementing the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities and for organizing regular pieces of training on IPC and therefore, the final responsibility is handed over to the HCWs, though adequate measures and substantive efforts had been taken by the Government. Further, the aforementioned Affidavit referred to Senior Advocate KV Vishwanathan and said that sufficient measures are not taken to prevent the exposure of frontline HCW to their families. Vishwanathan submitted the exposure of doctors and nurses was improper and different categories of risk increased to their families. However, the bench received two considering points in the Affidavit firstly, how to unravel the problem of the high-risk exposure for the frontline doctors and nurses. Whereas, secondly it seeks accommodation for the doctors with requisite parameters to curb the issues.
In light of the above, the country couldn’t have dissatisfied soldiers in this pandemic, and the same is informed by the Justice SK Kaul to SG Tushar Mehta. Further, Vishwanathan submitted that this is the additional menace in the life of the doctors as the government and private doctors are subjected to wage deductions. In this submission, the Bench slammed the government for not addressing the concerns of the HCWs adequately. In the same issue raised by Vishwanathan regarding the acquisition of premises in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, for the setting up of proper accommodation, the Bench directed the Petitioners to hand over their suggestions/concerns to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The matter is now listed on 17th June.