Litigation News

[COVID-19] Constitute Expert Committee of doctors, clarify measures taken for frontline workers: Karnataka HC directs State

"All stakeholders must ensure that special care is taken of this category of public servants who are at the forefront", the Court observed, referring to frontline workers.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court this week directed the state government to constitute an expert team of doctors to inspect and supervise hospitals in the state.

The Court has issued a set of directions while dealing with two letter petitions underlining the lack of medical facilities for COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

The direction pertaining to forming an expert committee of doctors was passed by the Court in line with a Supreme Court order passed on June 19, by which every state was directed to formulate an expert committee of doctors for inspection, supervision, and guidance to hospitals.

This apart, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka sought clarifications from the State on the following issues:

  • It would be appropriate for state to modify circular dated July 15 by incorporating a direction to set out a specific telephone number on which a patient can lodge a grievance regarding failure to admit a patient.

  • State government to invoke necessary provisions of the Disaster Management Act by issuing directions to all private hospitals so that a direction can be enforced against the private hospitals.

  • State to clarify whether there are any other helplines to avail ambulances apart from 108.

  • State to consider authorizing the BBMP bed allocation team (led by Mr. Tushar Girinath) to deal with grievances regarding the non-allocation of beds.

  • Real-time updation of bed data must be available on public domain in English and Kannada.

  • State and all other stakeholders to come out with measures for protecting categories of public servants who are in the forefront against the war of COVID-19. These include pourakarmikas, police, doctors/nurses, ASHA workers, medical personnel and housekeeping staff in hospitals and other facilities.

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