On Friday, the Supreme Court directed the Centre and States to set up an expert panel for effective monitoring, supervision, and guidance of government and COVID dedicated hospitals for providing proper health care to the patients.
The bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah was taking suo moto cognizance of the lapses and shortcomings in providing medical care in COVID-19 hospitals of various States. The court thus emphasized the importance of supervision and monitoring of infrastructure and facilities being provided in Government hospitals, while also dealing with issues regarding testing and pricing of treatment among others. The court also issued a slew of directions on the proper treatment of COVID-19 patients and the dignified handling of dead bodies in the hospitals.
Further, the apex court also directed the Union government to bring uniformity in charges of testing and other facilities and ordered it to constitute an expert committee of senior doctors of Central government hospitals, GNCTD run hospitals, AIIMS, and a responsible officer from Union health ministry.
The Bench again pulled up the Delhi Government for giving the impression that everything was fine in hospitals in the Capital. It said that the expert committee shall inspect, supervise and issue necessary directions to all Government hospitals, COVID hospitals, and other hospitals in NCT of Delhi taking care of COVID patients and the panel shall ensure that at least one visit to each hospital is done weekly.
“The team may in addition to normal inspection also conduct surprise visits to assess the preparedness of the hospitals. The expert team as indicated after visiting may issue necessary instructions for improvement to the hospital concerned and also forward its report to the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Union of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” the bench said in its 17-page order.