Take action against hospitals which deny admission to COVID suspects for want of RT-PCR report: Bombay High Court to Maharashtra government

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday urged the State government to take strict action against hospitals and medical centres who deny admission to any deserving patient merely on account of lack of COVID positive RT-PCR test report or any other compliance.

In this regard, the Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, directed the State government to ensure strict implementation of the State circular dated May 17, 2021 with respect to this issue.

The observations came in a petition seeking directions to ensure that all hospitals/ COVID centres, whether private or government, across State of Maharashtra admit patients on the basis of CT Scan report having symptoms of COVID-19 virus without insisting on RT-PCR test.

The petition filed by Mumbai lawyer Wilson Jaiswal, contended that although a person’s RT PCR report is negative, reports like CT Scan report could show the person is infected by corona virus.

His main concern was that the clinical condition and the other medical reports like CT Scan would show complete symptoms of a patient being affected by the Corona virus, even though the RT-PCR report may be in the negative.

A Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, however, noted that the grievance raised by the petitioner was taken care by the State circular dated May 17, 2021 which was issued based on the Centre’s directive of May 8, 2021.

What remained, as per the Court, was the meticulous and rigorous implementation of the circulars so that no patient with suspicion of having symptoms of COVID, is turned away by any hospital.

Advocates Satyaram Gaud and Shikhani Shah appearing for Jaiswal informed the Court about an unfortunate case of one Ramesh Ghaderao who was in service of the State government in the Law and Judiciary Department at Mantralaya.

He had succumbed to COVID-19. When he undertook the CT Scan test, the reports revealed a lung infection affecting 90 percent of his lungs, and yet his RT-PCR test was negative.

It was in such circumstances, that Jaiswal approached the Court for relief.

Before parting with the petition, the Court appreciated Jaiswal’s endeavour to bring about sensitivity to such issues by referring to Ghaderao’s case which they termed an “eye-opener”.

The Bench also hoped that the medical fraternity will go the extra mile and attend to every possible patient with COVID-19 symptoms.

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