New Delhi: The Delhi government in its fresh affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court has stated that the order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds in 33 major private hospitals for Covid-19 patients was passed keeping in view the rising number of coronavirus cases and noting that many people are preferring private hospitals.
It also stated that the order is restricted to 33 hospitals, and only for a temporary period, as against the entire number of hospitals operating in the national capital.
"There is a section of the society, including those with health insurance, CGHS, DGHS and ECHS beneficiaries, who prefer admission in private hospitals despite the availability of beds in the government facilities. It was found that many such patients were made to wait for long hours/days prior to their admission due to non-availability of ICU beds, as a result of which their condition deteriorated," the Delhi government said in its affidavit filed before the high court.
"In an attempt to combat the rise in Covid-19 cases, the answering respondent (Delhi government) herein has passed several orders from time to time, including the order directing nursing homes and private hospitals to reserve/earmark a certain percentage of their total bed strength specifically for Covid-19 patients," it added.
The affidavit was filed before a single judge bench of the high court comprising Justice Navin Chawla.
The affidavit filed by the Delhi government through additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose and advocate Urvi Mohan also stated that more than 1,150 nursing homes/private hospitals are registered with the Delhi government and the said order in question is not applicable to more than 1,000 nursing homes/private hospitals, leaving them specifically to cater to the needs of non-covid patients.
Consequently, more than 1,100 private nursing homes/hospitals are providing super specialty treatment, multi-specialty treatment, single specialty treatment and emergency treatment, including treatment for victims of road accident, acid attack, burn injury etc., the affidavit stated.
A petition filed by the Association of Healthcare Providers through advocates Sanyam Khetarpal and Narita Yadav had alleged that the order was passed in an arbitrary, unfair and illegal manner without even realising the difficulties that may be faced by the said private nursing homes and hospitals.
The affidavit also claimed that the petitioner association was looking to secure the financial interests of its member hospitals under the garb of expressing masked concerns over securing healthcare facilities for non-Covid patients, to be able to levy arbitrary and exorbitant medical treatment fees and other such charges from critical Covid-19 patients.