The Delhi High Court Friday said there was no use of making a waiting list for hospitals beds on the Delhi government’s website as a person goes there in emergency and nobody is going to wait in these COVID-19 pandemic days.
The high court also suggested that patients from lower strata could be given basic medicines like paracetamol along with steamers and thermometers as immediate COVID help.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said it will be a counter-productive thing to have waiting list for hospital beds while rejecting a submission by an advocate that waiting list should be updated on the bed portal of the government.
“If someone needs an oxygen bed, it is only in emergency, let’s be very clear about it. Nobody goes to a hospital unless there is an emergency… It is not that if you register today, your number will come in the evening. It is a redundant exercise… Nobody is going to keep waiting in these times,” the bench said, adding that there can be a wait list for vaccination.
Advocate Praveen Sharma said people do not know the details so if waiting list can be uploaded on the portal, it would increase transparency and suggested a token system.
He said people are also facing genuine problems and there is no mechanism to tell a person if there is a vacant bed.
Another advocate said these things are best left to doctors as a person may be number 1 on the waiting list but if there is a more emergent patient, he may have to be given priority and claimed that hospitals do get back if there is a bed available.
The bench, which heard the matter relating to various COVID-19 issues for several hours, opined that if the Delhi government was providing oxymeter to COVID positive person, as claimed by its counsel, it could also consider giving basic medicines along with a steamer and thermometer to the patient which could be returned later.
“When you send an oxymeter, you can also send basic medicines like a strip of paracetamol. You distribute ration that is the strata we are looking at. You can also give a steamer and thermometer to strata availing PDS or is BPL and then take it back later on. In that you can also include senior citizens living alone, physically handicapped,” the bench said.
Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra said it could be given to lower strata of the society because others can afford to buy these thing.
He said the government would ensure that the person gets an authentic and working oxymeter.
The counsel informed the court that tele consultation with doctors for COVID-19 have begun and it is for home isolated, mild and asymptomatic patients.
The court opined that the Delhi government should make a public appeal and doctors who are confined to home and have the qualification and are willing to offer services, can contact the authorities which would be flooded then.
The court said no need to create a payment gateway for it as this is not the time for monetary considerations and that is the spirit with which people should work and if they are willing to assist doctors in hospitals, then the government can pay them.
Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, representing the centre, informed the court that a nodal officer has been appointed by the armed forces for coordination with the Delhi government on COVID-19 assistance such as installation of cryogenic tankers for storage and transportation.
The High Court termed it as a good development.