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Plea Seeking Adequate Protection and Compensation For Nurses Working In Private Clinics, Delhi HC Directs Centre And Delhi Govt To File Replies

Karan Tripathi
6 July 2020 8:57 AM GMT
Plea Seeking Adequate Protection and Compensation For Nurses Working In Private Clinics, Delhi HC Directs Centre And Delhi Govt To File Replies
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Delhi High Court has directed the Centre as well as the Delhi Government to file detailed replies in a plea seeking adequate protection for nurses and healthcare staff working in private nursing homes.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the counsels appearing for both the governments to positively address the demands raised by the Petitioner and find ways to fulfill them.

Filed by Distress Management Collective, the petition seeks a direction to be issued to the concerned government departments to ensure that nurses and healthcare workers in the private nursing homes are being provided adequate safety kits to deal with COVID19.

The Petitioner organisation wants parity between the facilities provided to healthcare workers in government as well as private hospitals and clinics.

In today's hearing, the Petitioner submitted the following demands before the court:

  1. Respondents should set up a helpline number, along with 24x7 WhatsApp facility, for nurses working in private clinics. The said helplines shall ensure that the grievance of the said nurses are addressed within 24 hours
  2. Delhi Government shall clarify that whether its order dated April 7, which provides for granting ex-gratia compensation to the healthcare workers who are victims of COVID19, also apply to healthcare workers who got infected despite not working in a COVID facility
  3. Private nursing homes should be directed to file undertakings stating that they take responsibility of providing N95 masks and PPE kits to their employees
  4. Nurses working in the private nursing homes shall be made entitled to Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PM-GKY)
  5. Government should provide nurses working in private clinics with boarding/quarantine facilities in order to ensure their parity with the nurses working in government facilities
  6. Government shall appoint a Nodal Officer for the dedicated concerns of the nurses and healthcare workers working in private hospitals.

When these demands were put before the counsels appearing for the Centre and the Delhi Government, they could not satisfy the court regarding the status of existing schemes that can address the aforesaid demands.

The court rapped both the counsels by stating that:

'You don't even know about the policy (PMGKY), what is the mode of paying the premium, who all are covered, who should be paying the premium. Is it too much to ask for from a government to address the concerns of nurses and paramedics.'

The court further said:

'Someone should listen to the grievances of the nurses. We understand that the government can't pay for everything, but that is where you engage the private nursing homes.'

While giving some time for the counsels appearing for both the Centre and the Delhi Government to take instructions and file replies to the demands raised by the Petitioner, the court adjourned the matter till July 17.

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