COVID-19 hospital monitoring panels acted in a casual manner: Karnataka HC

‘Govt. should evolve mechanism to monitor hospitals, care centres

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday said the State- and district-level monitoring committees functioned in a “casual manner” when Karnataka had the second highest active COVID-19 cases and Bengaluru Urban district was worst affected among districts in the country.

The court said there was absolute necessity for the State government to evolve a mechanism for constant monitoring of designated COVID-19 hospitals, both public and private hospitals and care centres.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar made the observation in its order on PIL petitions related to COVID-19 health management.

The objective of regular inspection of COVID-19 hospitals was not to find fault with doctors and healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly for the last six months, but to ensure that the hospitals were well-equipped so that staff could discharge their duties properly, the Bench said. The apex court in July had directed all the State governments to set up monitoring committees to keep a vigil on facilities and functioning of COVID-19 hospitals.

The Bench also pointed out that mechanism for inspection and helpline to assist patients and their relatives was very essential as a COVID-19 patient, once admitted to hospital, had limited opportunity to meet family members and the patient would not be in a position to complain about the lack of facilities while undergoing treatment in the hospitals.

Oxygen supply

As the State government said there was no shortage of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients in the State, the Bench asked the government to inform how it would implement the price of oxygen as per the recent order passed by the Union government.

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