Nothing wrong in Delhi govt order putting all doctors in one category for treating COVID patients: HC

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 Doctors perform a Diagnostic Nasal Endoscopy (DNE) on a patient to detect Black Fungus. 

The Delhi High Court Monday said there was nothing wrong in the decision of the Delhi Government directing all doctors and medical staff to function in a single category, irrespective of the differences in their seniority and specialisation, in treatment of COVID patients, saying there should not be any “ego issue”.

Justice Rekha Palli said that “prima facie” there was nothing wrong with the May 16 notification which appeared to be dealing only with COVID management duties of doctors and they should not come to court with such pleas. “What is the problem with this? What is your ego issue in this? I don’t see anything wrong in this. I am sorry a doctor is coming to court like this.”

“Prima facie I see nothing wrong with the order. It is only with regard to COVID management,” Justice Palli said at the start of the hearing of the petition which challenged the notification contending that it was arbitrary and issued without the approval of the Lt Governor as required under the amended GNCTD Act which came into force from April 27.

The petitioner-doctor, represented by advocate Payal Bahl, was aggrieved by the notification as it put allopathic and non-allopathic doctors as well as junior and senior residents in one category for treating COVID patients, claiming that this could put patients lives at risk.

Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal, told the court that the idea behind the notification was to ensure every ward was manned during the pandemic and only the authorised doctors can administer medicines or provide treatment. Aggarwal said he needs time to get proper clarification and the court listed the matter for hearing on May 27.

The doctor posted at GTB Hospital said “It is submitted that the said impugned notification would severely cast its negative impact on the treatment of the patients and can potentially derail the entire medical /hospital administration system for the treatment of COVID patients in the government Hospitals in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The petition has contended that under the notification, COVID patients will be treated by the Junior Doctors / Interns “who have virtually negligible experience in front of the Specialist and Senior Resident”.

“It is submitted with great caution that unchecked treatment of the COVID patients by inexperienced hands can lead to the serious life and death situation to the public at large,” it has said and urged the court to quash the May 16 notification. It has also contended that neither the office of the Principle Secretary, Health department nor the Health Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) are empowered to take such a decision.

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