The High Court (HC) on Monday said that people’s deaths due to negligence in providing treatment is a criminal offence and directed the authorities concerned to take legal action if patients are denied treatment.
Such deaths will be referred to as ‘death for negligence’ and ‘criminal offence’, the HC said.
A virtual bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order and directed the Health Ministry and Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to form a monitoring cell to inspect the matter.
The HC passed the order after hearing five separate writ petitions filed over different incidents of patients’ death for not getting treatment across the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
The court also sought report by June 30 over implementation of the Health Ministry directive and details on the legal actions taken against people or authorities who failed to follow the directions.
Health and Family Planning Ministry and DGHS were asked to inform about the number of Covid-19 and non-covid-19 patients who received treatment from private hospitals and clinics with more than 50 beds and their list.
The government was also directed to submit the reports which are provided by the private hospitals and clinics to the Health Ministry and DGHS every 15 days.
A separate Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hotline should be launched so that ailing people can easily contact ICU management and monitoring cell which will also restrict charging additional fee for treatment, the HC said.
The government has to fix the retail price of oxygen cylinder and its refill, the HC added.