The Gujarat High Court has cautioned health secretary Jayanti Ravi to ensure that COVID-19 admissions in Ahmedabad Civil Hospital are not restricted deliberately to cope up with work pressure in the future, or else the court will have to take “appropriate action”.
The remark came in response to a submission made by an advocate appearing in a case concerning the COVID-19 crisis in Gujarat. The advocate submitted that the Civil Hospital is unable to withstand the pressure and in such circumstances, it may start restricting admission of COVID-19 patients.
The court reacting to the submission said it is sure that the state government will never do it.
“We want the Civil Hospital to function at its full strength. Not a single bed should be kept vacant. If the Health department is not able to withstand the pressure, then it should immediately make necessary arrangements to increase the strength of doctors, nursing staff, etc. We sound a note of caution in this regard, more particularly, to the principal secretary of the Health Department that in future, if we come to know that deliberately, the admission in the Civil Hospital is restricted with a view to cope up with the pressure of work, then we may have to take appropriate action in this regard.
The bench also said: “The true test of an efficient Government can be determined from its performance in times like the present one. In difficult times, it is expected of any Government to rise to the occasion and protect its citizens”.
The court also directed the government to ensure there should be no shortage of manpower in the hospital. It asked the government to ensure that patients with different need for medical care are treated accordingly and as per protocol. It also directed the government to ensure that all treating doctors and paramedical staff are provided all the necessary protection such as PPE suits, consumables, etc, to safeguard them from acquiring the information.
Meanwhile, the state government has claimed that severe co-morbidities were a major factor behind Ahmedabad Civil Hospital registering so many deaths. The government claimed that 83.24 per cent of the 352 patients who died in Civil Hospital had co-morbidities.