Terming it one of the “basic tenets of medical ethics”, the high court said that no hospital could refuse to admit a Covid-19 patient “if beds for such patients are available”.
A division bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee was hearing a PIL, which questioned the admission modalities of Covid patients and suspects in hospitals, both government and private.
The HC observed that the primary objective of any hospital — government or private — should be to render healthcare to those in need.
The court directed the petitioners to move The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) if they had “a concrete instance of any hospital denying admission to a Covid-19 patient despite beds being available.” The health panel, the HC said, would act against erring hospitals as it deems proper.
The Bengal government informed the court that it had created a database, in which daily bed availability figures at all Covid facilities of the state were provided daily. This, it said, was accessible to the public.