Supreme Court: No Patient Shall Be Denied Hospitalisation, Essential Drugs for Lack of Address Proof
The Supreme Court ordered the Centre to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals within two weeks in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19. It said that no patient shall be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in any state for lack of local residential proof.
A three-member apex court bench, comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Ravindra Bhat also directed the Centre and state governments to notify that any clampdown on information on social media or harassment caused to individuals seeking help on any platform will attract coercive action.
In the order uploaded on the Supreme Court website late on Sunday night, it said, “The central government and state governments shall notify all chief secretaries, directors general of police, commissioners of police that any clampdown on information on social media or harassment caused to individuals seeking/delivering help on any platform will attract a coercive exercise of jurisdiction by this court. The registrar (judicial) is also directed to place a copy of this order before all district magistrates in the country.”
The Apex Court also directed the Centre to make sure that the shortage in the supply of oxygen to the national capital is fixed before May 3 midnight.
The Bench said, “The central government shall, in collaboration with the states, prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes and decentralise the location of the emergency stocks. The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and are to be replenished on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of oxygen supply to the states.”
Supreme court also directed the Centre to revisit its initiatives and protocols, including the availability of oxygen, availability and pricing of vaccines, and availability of essential drugs at affordable prices. It asked senior advocates Jaideep Gupta and Meenakshi Arora, appointed as Amicus Curiae, to organize and assemble these suggestions submitted by various parties.