New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Delhi government to appoint a nodal officer to look into the grievances of the health workers, including nurses of private nursing homes, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Delhi government, in its affidavit, submitted that it has directed all registered hospitals, both government and private hospitals registered in the national capital, whether it a designated COVID facility or not, to provide PPE Kits, N-95 masks, and other protective equipment to their staff including nurses, paramedic and housekeeping staff.
After taking note of the Delhi government's affidavit, a division bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan noted that it appears that the quarantine facility is not required for all the nurses.
The bench, while disposing of the plea, said that PPE kits and N95 masks should be provided by these nursing homes to their staff and an undertaking is to be given.
The court also refused to entertain the demand seeking inclusion of nurses working in private clinics, who are not on COVID duty, as beneficiaries in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna and observed if we include other people in this scheme, and interfere with the policy decision, it would change the whole budget of the said scheme.
"Such schemes are created keeping in view the funds available and the same would affect the budget. Not much is left to be addressed in this matter, it ought to keep in mind the authorities who have issued the official order, it shall see that the same is implemented," the bench said.
The counsel for the petitioner NGO submitted that for equal risk, there should be equal protection and contended that the safeguards being taken for healthcare workers who are treating COVID-19 patients are also required to be made available to other healthcare professionals and related staff who are working in hospitals.
The court was hearing a petition, filed by NGO Distress Management Collective, seeking to cover insurance protection of all the private sector nurses under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package and to provide them proper psycho-social support.
The NGO had alleged that nurses in private hospitals were not being provided with proper protective equipment. The petitioner had also said that private hospitals are not exercising basic precautions for the safety and security of their healthcare workers.
It had also accused the Centre and the Delhi government of showing a "discriminatory approach" towards nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes as compared to staff working in government hospitals. (ANI)