[COVID-19] Clarify number of helplines for grievances regarding non-availability of hospital beds: Karnataka HC to state, BBMP
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[COVID-19] Clarify number of helplines for grievances regarding non-availability of hospital beds: Karnataka HC to state, BBMP

"The proper working of the helpline is most crucial as this is the only resort available for patients and relatives to make a grievance about non-availability of beds", the Court observed.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday asked the state government and the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to clarify the number of dedicated telephone lines in place for citizens to raise grievances regarding failure to secure hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.

Additionally, the Court also questioned the authorities on the action taken against the complaints received via the helplines.

The Court raised these questions while dealing with two letter petitions underscoring the lack of medical facilities for COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Alok Aradhe observed,

"The proper working of helpline is most crucial as this is the only resort available for patients and relatives to make grievance about non-availability of beds ...The purpose of providing helpline cannot be achieved unless there is a mechanism which acts upon the complaints received through the helpline."

Karnataka High Court

This apart, the Bench asked the state and the BBMP to place its submissions on record regarding the following grey areas:

  • Whether a patient can be admitted in public or private hospital without the generation of PU Code?

  • If, after receiving SMS regarding the positive result of the test, if any patient desires to be admitted to a private hospital, whether there are any guidelines available which ensure that private hospitals admit the patients by showing SMS?

  • Whether specific directions can be issued to the private hospitals to admit patients on showing SMS regarding the positive result?

  • If a person is admitted in ordinary bed and if he requires immediate transfer to ICU (with or without a ventilator), what is the process followed to transfer the patients without loss of time?

  • What is the total number of ambulances available exclusively for transporting COVID-19 patients either to hospitals or COVID centers?

  • If private ambulances are available, whether any helpline can be made available so that COVID-19 patients may be able to contact such private operators?

  • Whether adequate number of doctors are present to manage the rising number of COVID-19 patients in the state?

  • Whether adequate publicity is given for availability of data of available beds on the BBMP website?

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