HC stays reservation of beds at GTB Hospital; govt to move SC

HC stays reservation of beds at GTB Hospital; govt to move SC

New DELHI: After the Delhi High Court on Friday set aside the Delhi government's circular on preferential treatment to city residents at Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital here, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party said it will move the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict.

"Delhi govt disagrees with the hon'ble Delhi High Court on the issue of providing facilities to Delhi residents in GTB Hospital and will challenge the HC order in the hon'ble Supreme Court of India. It is the duty of any govt to provide better facilities to taxpayers," the Chief Minister's Media Adviser Nagendar Sharma tweeted on Friday.

Under the pilot project, implemented earlier this month, residents of Delhi were to get preference at the registration counters, in-patient department, tests and medicine counter service, once their identity is confirmed on the basis of voter identity card at GTB Hospital.

The proposal to give preference to residents of the national Capital at the hospital in east Delhi's Dilshad Garden was approved in August by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao had earlier reserved its verdict on the PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist, challenging the AAP-led Delhi government's pilot project.

The court was examining whether the project was violating the rights to equality and life, guaranteed under the Constitution.

The bench had earlier said it had noted the government's "difficulties" related to infrastructure, staff and facilities and added that it would consider if these were valid grounds to deny others their rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

The NGO, in its plea, had said that the hospital could not discriminate against patients on the basis of their regional identity, while adding that such discrimination was not seen anywhere else in the entire country.

At the previous hearing, the Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra had told the court that no individual has so far filed a complaint against its October 1 circular initiating the pilot project at the hospital.

Mehra had said that no one was being denied treatment, access to tests or outpatient (OPD) facilities and the hospital was only prioritising whom to treat first.

He had also said that the Delhi government took this policy decision as the huge influx of patients was putting a lot of strain on its infrastructure and staff, and it was also leading to manhandling of doctors by patients or their attendants.

The bench, however, was unimpressed by the contention and had asked, "Who is responsible for this? The courts? Or is it mismanagement? If you cannot manage then stop the facilities."

Team MP

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