Cannot pass order on allocating Covid beds, hospitals know best: Delhi High Court

The court was hearing a petition declaring that hospitals were pursuing a “VIP Culture” in the allocation of beds. The petition, filed by Delhi resident Manjit Singh, sought a fair and transparent mechanism for allotting beds to Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Source- The Indian Express

Court's Statement

Observing that it cannot plan a mechanism for allotment of Covid-19 beds, the Delhi High Court on Friday said these calls have to be taken by hospitals and doctors on the ground. It also said beds for a certain category of persons like the President or Prime Minister have to be withheld and one cannot have a contempt with that. “The situation is such that you expect the court to pass orders on these matters… is very difficult. These calls have to be taken, best left to the hospitals, best left to the treating doctors then. Beyond a point, we cannot fiddle with this,” the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, said while listening to a petition declaring that hospitals were following a “VIP culture” in the allowance of beds.

Senior Advocate's Statement

The petition filed by Delhi resident Manjit Singh pursued a fair and transparent mechanism for allocating beds to Covid patients in hospitals. It also pursued a centralized government agency and help desks outside every Covid hospital in Delhi to assist patients to locate a bed. The beds were being allocated based on several considerations, senior advocate Vivek Sood argued on Friday. The bench said two weeks ago, there was a crisis of scarcity where a huge population was faced with limited infrastructure. It became a difficulty that nobody was eligible to deal with and only because of the sheer number, added the court. “Today the situation is not there because there are lots of vacant beds available. Assuming the situation were to become as bad as it was… the problem is that when you have, let us say, as opposed to 5,000 hospital beds, your requirement is for 50,000 who need admission; then your system that you are talking about putting in place, that just crumbles… then it is the right time at the right place. If you are fortunate, you are at a hospital gate… the doctor sees who is the most deserving and says ‘ok you take the bed’,” it added.

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