29 Sep 2023 9:30 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has constituted a seven member Committee to streamline the process of availing free medical treatment under various government schemes in the hospitals in the national capital.A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said that the Committee will give recommendations for “alleviating and curing the defects” in the current system...
The Delhi High Court has constituted a seven member Committee to streamline the process of availing free medical treatment under various government schemes in the hospitals in the national capital.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula said that the Committee will give recommendations for “alleviating and curing the defects” in the current system to avail financial assistance.
The Committee will comprise of Delhi Government’s Chief Secretary as the Chairperson. Other two members shall be nominated by the Secretary of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other two members will be nominated by the Delhi Government’s Principal Secretary. Another member will be nominated by the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi. A member shall be a senior officer from the National Informatics Centre be nominated by its Director General.
“The procedure required for availing free medical treatment must be streamlined, including various surgeries, as well as surgeries for implants / devices and to put in place a single-window mechanism with designated nodal officers at each hospital in Delhi,” the court said.
It added that the hospitals in Delhi must maintain a “dynamic information list” of drugs, implants and devices on the website of the concerned departments, which may be revised frequently, so that persons seeking treatment are aware of the availability of the same in real time.
“The Ministries of Health & Family Welfare at both levels as well as MCD should create revolving funds to cater to the recurring expenditure of patients suffering from chronic, rare, debilitating or lethal diseases, including all necessary forms of treatment such as surgeries and procurements of implants and devices. Funds / grants could be made available in the concerned hospitals expeditiously on the basis of demand,” the court said.
Furthermore, the bench added that the procedure for procuring financial assistance under different schemes must be made less cumbersome so that the public could comprehend the same with little assistance.
The court said that instructions for availing financial assistance must be displayed prominently and clearly in accessible language and that emphasis must be on processing the applications quickly
“All forms must be available in regional languages and the requirement of accompanying documents must be kept minimal, keeping in mind that these are for medical emergencies. The designated nodal officers must be adequately sensitized in view of the fact that usually persons belonging to socially and economically weaker sections of the society may not readily have all documents available and viable alternatives may be suggested,” the court said.
It added that patients or their families must not be called upon to obtain quotations from different vendors in reference with drugs or medicines or implants etc. in order to submit their applications seeking financial assistance.
The court observed that the Committee may suggest specific methodology under which patients belonging to economically weaker sections of the society may continue to receive benefits of treatment or drugs till such time the financial assistance is finally disbursed.
“The hospital must become patient friendly and accessible to the society at large. All the various departments under the Ministries / MCD must work in close association with each other, with effective communication so that greater benefit can be made available to the patients belonging to economically weaker sections of the society,” the court said.
The bench requested the Committee to furnish a report with its recommendations for implementing the court’s directions before, November 16, the next date of hearing.
Advocates Ashok Aggarwal, Kumar Utkarsh and Manoj Kumar appeared for the petitioner.
Advocates Satya Ranjan Swain and Kautilya Birat appeared for AIIMS.
Advocate T. Singhdev appeared as Amicus Curiae with Advocates Anum Hussain, Tanishq Srivastava, Abhijit Chakravarty and Bhanu Gulati.
CGSC Monika Arora, with Advocates Subrodeep Saha and Yash Tyagi appeared for Union of India.
Advocates Tushar Sannu and Karishma Rajput appeared for Delhi Government.
Title: Sarvesh v. AIIMS & Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 912
Title: SARVESH v. ALL INDIA INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES & ORS.
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