The Gujarat High Court has directed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to take strict action against city-based Rajasthan Hospital for not rendering timely treatment to a COVID-19 patient resulting in his death. The direction came during the hearing of multiple petitions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Taking cognisance of media reports on the unfortunate death, the division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala remarked: “It appears that the authorities concerned has issued notice to the Rajasthan Hospital seeking its explanation, but this is not a case in which mere explanation would suffice”.
The court terming the incident as “painful” directed the AMC to take “strictest action” against the responsible persons at the hospital at the earliest and in accordance with law.
Notably, a certain Harish Kadiya was admitted to Life Care Hospital in Khanpur for COVID-19 treatment. After his health deteriorated, he was taken to Rajasthan Hospital so that he can be put on a ventilator. However, the ambulance carrying Kadiya was made to wait for around 20 minutes as the hospital gate meant for COVID-19 patients was locked and the hospital administration was not ready to open it. The delay in rendering timely treatment resulted in the death of Kadiya.
Miffed with the Rajasthan Hospital administration, the division bench said: “Unfortunately, the man died because timely treatment could not be given to him. When any patient in a critical condition is brought to the hospital, the first thing that is expected of the hospital authorities is to admit the patient and start the treatment. Here is a case in which Harish Kadiya was in need of a ventilator. The first thing that was expected of the Rajasthan Hospital was to immediately shift the patient in the ICU and put him on the ventilator. All other formalities could have been taken care of at a later stage, including the requisite fees to be paid in advance”.
Meanwhile, the court has directed the government to ensure that each private hospital should display the charges fixed by the state government for COVID-19 treatment hear the hospital reception. The high court also asked the government to explore the possibility of utilising VS Hospital, if the situation gets worse.
It has also directed the government to regulate the ambulance charges and ensure appropriate facilities for cremation and burial of dead bodies.