The Supreme Court on Sunday issued a slew of directions to the Central and state governments on the COVID-19 situation and directed that no patient shall be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in any State or Union Territory for lack of local residential or identity proof.
A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud directed the Central government to formulate a national policy on admissions to hospitals, within two weeks, which shall be followed by all state governments and till then no patients will be denied admission or essential drugs in absence of local residential or identity proof.
The top court in its order noted that gaining admission into a hospital with a bed is one of the biggest challenges being faced by most individuals during this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Left to their own devices, citizens have had to suffer immeasurable hardship. Different states and local authorities follow their own protocols. Differing standards for admission in different hospitals across the nation leads to chaos and uncertainty. The situation cannot brook any delay,” it said.
“Accordingly, we direct the Central Government to frame a policy in this regard, in exercise of its statutory powers under the Disaster Management Act, which will be followed nationally. The presence of such a policy shall ensure that no one in need is turned away from a hospital, due to no fault of their own,” it further added.