Hospitals have become like huge real estate industries instead of serving humanity: SC


IN Supreme Court Monday said hospitals instead of serving humanity in the face of the tragedy of COVID-19, they have become like huge real estate industries, and at the same time it is necessary to close “ retirement homes ”, consisting of 2-3 room apartments in residential colonies that pay little attention to fire safety standards and construction safety.

Apex Court also pulled up Gujarat government for extending the deadline to next July for hospitals to correct violations of domestic laws, and said that the carte blanche notice was contrary to his order of December 18 last year, and people would continue to die in fire incidents

“These hospitals have become a huge real estate industry instead of serving the cause of humanity in the face of human tragedy.

“You (the Gujarat government) are extending the deadline, which cannot be complied with due to our order of December 18 last year. Hospitals are designed to help patients in distress, but instead they become machines for minting money, ”said the stand of Judges D. Yu. Chandrachud and MR Shah.

During this tragedy, hospitals turned into a huge industry, and “this kind of nursing homes, operating from two-three-room apartments in a residential community, should not be allowed to work,” they added.

“It would be better if these hospitals were closed and the state would provide the necessary infrastructure. We cannot let these hospitals and nursing homes continue to operate. It is a human tragedy that is taking place, ”said the dock, referring to the fire in Nashik, Maharashtra state, where several nurses and patients were killed last year.

The higher court indicated that the Gujarat government would have to withdraw the notice, stating that it appeared to be in breach of its last year’s order, and demanded an explanation for issuing the notice within a week.

It said that after the order was issued by a higher court, “it cannot be overridden by an executive order and now you (the Gujarat government) have provided carte blanche, which says hospitals are not obligated to adhere to correcting violations until July. , 2022 ”, and until then people will die and burn themselves.

He also disagreed with the report filed in a sealed cover by the Hospital Fire Safety Commission, stating that “this is not a nuclear secret, but just a report. Why in a sealed lid. ”

He asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to investigate and discuss the notification with the Gujarat authorities, and also asked the state to submit an exhaustive statement explaining the notification and details. fire safety audits which were carried out in accordance with the ruling of the higher court of the last year.

The higher court listed the suo motu case on the proper treatment of COVID patients after two weeks.

On December 18 last year, a higher court ordered all states to set up a committee in each district to conduct fire checks on hospitals with COVID-19 at least once a month, inform healthcare management of any deficiencies, and report to the government. for follow-up action.

It stated that COVID-19 hospitals that have not received a no-objection certificate from the relevant fire department should be asked to immediately apply for a NOC and a decision should be made in this regard after the necessary verification.

“Those COVID hospitals that have not updated their NOC should immediately take steps to resume, which will be reviewed and decided upon. If it is found that the COVID hospital does not have a NOC or has not received an update, the state should take appropriate measures, ”the statement said.

A higher court ruled that all states and union territories should appoint one nodal officer for each COVID hospital, if not already appointed, who will be responsible for ensuring that all fire safety measures are followed.

The Supreme Court last year considered a fire incident at a COVID hospital in Gujarat, Rajkot, which resulted in the death of five patients.

He also took note of similar incidents that had occurred earlier in other COVID hospitals.

He noted that the Gujarat government had appointed Judge D.A. Mehtu commission to investigate the fire at Shrei Hospital, Navrangpur, Ahmedabad, in addition to investigating the fire incident at Uday Sivanand Hospital, Rajkot.

It said that the state will expand all opportunities for cooperation with the commission of inquiry, so that the report on the investigation is submitted as early as possible, and the state takes appropriate corrective action.

The higher court noted that the Center also instructed the states and UT to update their respective local building / fire services laws, synchronizing them with the 2019 Model Fire and Emergency Service Maintenance Bill circulated by the Ministry. Ministry of Internal Affairs on September 16 last year.

The Rajkot fire problem arose in a higher court, which dealt with suo motu’s case about the proper treatment of COVID-19 patients and the dignified treatment of bodies in hospitals.

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