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"Hospitals Have Become A Large Industry, Survive On Human Distress, Cant Be Protected At Cost Of Citizens" : Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
19 July 2021 4:34 PM GMT
Hospitals Have Become A Large Industry, Survive On Human Distress, Cant Be Protected At Cost Of Citizens : Supreme Court
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While stressing on the need for States to provide better hospitals and covid care centres with proper clearances, Supreme Court on Monday observed that Hospitals have now become a large industry, survive on human distress and cannot be protected at the cost of citizens they are meant to subserve."What has now happened is, let us face it, Hospitals have become a large industry. Just as...

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While stressing on the need for States to provide better hospitals and covid care centres with proper clearances, Supreme Court on Monday observed that Hospitals have now become a large industry, survive on human distress and cannot be protected at the cost of citizens they are meant to subserve.

"What has now happened is, let us face it, Hospitals have become a large industry. Just as real estate has gone down, Hospitals survive on human distress, it's become a big industry. We can't protect them at cost of citizens whom they are meant to subserve." Justice Chandrachud said

Referring to the hospitals and nursing homes without proper clearances and NOCs and situated in residential buildings, Justice Chandrachud further stated that "Its better that these hospitals are closed & additional facilities are created by State. Let state provide those facilities and covid care centres and better hospitals. We can't have them in these small residential buildings."

A Division Bench Of Justice Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah was hearing its suo motu case regarding the incident which happened in Rajkot, Gujarat on 26.11.2020 resulting in death of Covid patients in the Covid Hospital

The Bench confronted the State of Gujarat on its decision to issue notification extending timeline for hospitals to rectify compliances, even after an order was issued by Supreme Court on 18th December 2020 mandating such compliances in regard to maintenance and audit of fire safety measure in hospitals.

Referring to the incident of fire in the hospital in Rajkot, Justice Chandrachud stated that "There was One instance where a patient had recovered from covid & had to be released the next day and he died due to fire! Two nurses who had gone to use the washroom and were burnt alive."

"These are human tragedies which have unfolded before our eyes! & then we go on extending time for these hospitals! Do we look upon hospitals as real estate industry or do we look upon them as service to humanity. That's the problem." Justice Chandrachud remarked.

Explaining the situation, SG Tushar Mehta stated that " The impact was this: visualise a 10 story building where one doctor has 4-5 bedded hospital, those beds were then required for Covid treatment.The building doesn't have BU permission and resultantly the hospitals were required to be closed and total beds which would become unavailable would be 30k bed. Therefore a request was made, that is it possible to provide for fire safety in that hospital and It was found to be technically not feasible"

Justice Chandrachud responded saying that "There is no point in condoning the lapses of these kind of nursing homes which are not supposed to be there in those buildings in the first place."

SG Mehta clarified "This is not a justification, this is just to remove any impression that something was very exceptionally wrong."

"Our suggestion is, what we appeal to you is, If any recommendation in made by Commission, you see to it that corrective measures are taken. Commissions are meant for that, their recommendations are to be implemented" Justice Shah said.

He further added that "An impression should not be gathered by a common man that State government wants to shield people committing illegalities. Through the notification the impression that might be gathered will be this, that it's illegal, no NOC, no action taken for months and be happy"

"This is a human tragedy that has happened, people dying in fire. We will look at it after 2 weeks" Justice Chandrachud said.

Case Title: In Re: The Proper Treatment of Covid 19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in the Hospitals


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