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Covid-19: HC Seeks MP Govt’s Reply Over 204 Unused Backup Ventilators

Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur.

Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur.

Exorbitant rates of treatment at private hospitals, availability of CT scan machines at government hospitals also came up for hearing.

While hearing 14 different public interest litigations (PILs) on the Covid-19 issue, the Madhya Pradesh High Court principal bench in Jabalpur sought replies from the MP government on several issues including the unused 204 ventilators which gathered dust in storerooms while the State battled a massive pandemic.

The State government in the past had submitted an action taken report on the pandemic. Issues that came up for hearing on Thursday included exorbitant rates of treatment at private hospitals, availability of CT scan machines at government hospitals, usage of ventilators and the State’s preparedness on the possible third wave of the Covid-19.

Naman Nagrath, the amicus curiae, took objection to the fact mentioned by the State government in its reply that 204 ventilators were kept in storerooms as backup during the pandemic saying if used could have saved many lives during the pandemic.

On this, the HC sought a reply from the government as to why the ventilators received under the PM Cares Fund were not utilised in the pandemic.

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The amicus curiae while demanding an audit of medical bills of the private hospitals in MP on the lines of Maharashtra, demanded that excess amount charged from the patients should be returned to them.

One of the petitioners claimed that treatment rates fixed by the State government are more than what leading hospitals charge and the HC ordered the State government for submitting a reply in the next hearing.

Additionally, the court also sought replies from the MP government on the unavailability of CT scan machines in government hospitals in 48 districts and preparations on the possible third wave.

The court during the hearing observed that the State government was only altering arrangements in hospitals for kids while several other measures like the appointment of physicians and so on were warranted.

The court while instructing the State government for furnishing replies on various points in ten days has posted the matter for hearing on June 21.

(Inputs Pratik Mohan Awasthi)

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first published:June 10, 2021, 22:25 IST