New Delhi, May 8 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court has directed the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) to treat an Octogenarian in hospital itself, who was admitted following a brain stroke and was later found COVID-19 positive.
The petition was filed by 83-year old Brijpal Singh, who was admitted in IHBAS and later found to be suffering from Novel Coronavirus. The petition said the IHBAS, not being a designated COVID-19 hospital, asked the petitioner’s attendant to shift him into a COVID-19 hospital.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh said, “Considering the fact that medical acceptability for the petitioner to move to LNJP Hospital is not there, it is directed that the petitioner-patient continues to remain at IHBAS.”
The Bench noted that it was confident that the IHBAS would endeavour to give the best care and treatment possible to the petitioner under the present circumstances.
The Court also made it clear that IHBAS would not be held liable in any manner, in as much as the petitioner and his family are conscious of the fact that the doctors at IHBAS may not have the same specialisation required for a COVID patient – it not being a COVID-19 designated hospital and also due to the fact that it is on the petitioner’s insistence that he is not being moved to a COVID facility. The apprehension of IHBAS is completely assuaged, in view of the observations recorded above.
Justice Singh also directed the Government of NCT of Delhi to expedite the proposal of IHBAS for making 60-80 beds at hospital as a specialised/designated COVID facility.
“Considering the acute shortage and severe demand for beds pertaining to COVID-19 patients and COVID-19 related facilities in the city of Delhi, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, GNCTD, shall process the proposal from IHBAS, which has been sent. Copy of the proposal be also handed over to the Counsel for the GNCTD,” said the Court.
Previously, the Court has sought the response from the GNCTD and IHBAS on the petition with regard to total data of the number of patients currently admitted in the hospital, and the different departments that they are admitted in.
The Counsel was also directed to obtain instructions on the layout of the hospital, and the availability of beds, as the court was informed that out of a capacity of 236 beds, only 30-40 percent of the beds are currently being utilised.
The Counsel appearing for GNCTD submitted that a bed can be made available to the petitioner in Lok Narayan Jai Prakash Hospital, which is also a COVID hospital and also has the facilities even to take care of his Neurological/Cardiac issues.
Counsel Tushar Sannu, appearing for IHBAS, submitted that the hospital is not treating this case in an adversarial manner, and the patient is currently stable with 5 MTs oxygen. He has been kept in a transit COVID facility, where three COVID patients are currently admitted.
It was further submitted by a team of doctors from IHBAS, including Dr Desai and Dr Suman, that the patient has neurological as also cardiac issues and hence, it would be advisable for the patient to move to a general hospital like LNJP, rather than a specialised hospital like IHBAS.
Whereas the Counsel appearing for the petitioner and his son have both expressed a deep sense of apprehension in shifting the patient from IHBAS to LNJP Hospital, on the ground that the main problem which the Petitioner is facing is a neurological issue, which can be taken care of at IHBAS in a proper manner.
Further, the apprehension of the Counsel for the petitioner is also that the patient is not comfortable in being moved to a general hospital, and he is satisfied with the treatment he is receiving at IHBAS. It is further submitted that COVID symptoms having occurred around April 28-29 2021, the crucial period has already passed and the petitioner is stable. Thus, he may not require any complex treatment for COVID.
The Court noted, “The risks associated with the doctors and arrangements at IHBAS, it being a non-COVID facility, have also been appraised of to the Counsel and son of the petitioner. However, despite the choice being available to move to LNJP Hospital, both the counsel and the son of the petitioner have opted to let the petitioner remain in IHBAS.”
The Court would hear the matter next on May 13, to consider the issue of creation of a COVID-19 facility at IHBAS. It directed the Counsels to file a report on the next date. ILNS/KR/RJ