Patna High Court held failure of Private Hospital to provide timely Medical Treatment is Violation of Article 21


On 12th May, 2021 Patna High Court issued a no. of directions while pointing out that the government hospitals, medical officers are duty-bound to extend medical assistance and failure on the part of even private hospitals to provide timely medical treatment to a person in need of treatment would account to violation of his/her right to life guaranteed under Article 21.

The Court directed all government hospitals, medical officers and private hospitals who are duty-bound to extend medical assistance and the failure of the same would result in violation of article 21. 

The Court further directed the public representatives as the functionaries of state under the Registration Act, Municipal Act and the Panchayat Act to take all steps to ensure implementation of the state’s policies inclusive of registering deaths, more or so in a rural area. 

The State government was directed to take all the necessary measures for the implementation of CRS and undertake responsibilities mentioned in the Registration and Panchayat Acts for units of local government. All death must be reported within 24 hours. 

The Ministry of Health was instructed to look into the request made by the state, seeking enhancement in oxygen cylinder and oxygen quota.

The Affidavit in regards to the disposal of bodies floating in river Ganga was instructed to be filed within two days by the Commissioner of District Buxar and Kaimur.

Municipal Authorities were directed to ensure proper collection, treatment and disposal of waste generated from COVID patients in home isolation. Procuring C.T. scan equipment expeditiously 

The Court asked for fresh information pertaining to the second wave regarding  RT PCR, Positivity rate and death etc. no of COVID care Centres, Dedicated Covid Health Centres and Dedicated Health centres of private hospitals in each district to be furnished to the court. 

The Court opined that the right to health is the state’s responsibility, and while perusing the affidavit of the Chief Secretary of Bihar, the court remarked that it was silent on the availability requirement and distribution of oxygen and disposal of bio-medical waste generated while operations with respect to COVID. 

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh highlighted the issue pertaining to the availability and transportation of oxygen from the storage point to the user.

Whereas, Advocate Anshuman Singh representing UOI informed the court that the Centre allocated 10088 cylinders and it would be enhanced further. He also apprised the court that the situation is being monitored by the CM and senior ministers. 

The court also reflected upon the issue of black marketing and hoarding, focusing on rural areas and data generation by the representatives. 

Further, the Court contended that it understands that the executive is busy conducting and planning operations at different levels. However, failure to provide information complete in all respects would prompt the court to interact directly with the executives. 

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