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Gujarat HC: No citizen of this country should gather a feeling that he is being treated differently than a person with necessary resources

The Gujarat High Court on May 29, 2020 {SUO MOTU vs STATE OF GUJARAT} held that Article 21 of the Constitution clearly imposes a duty on the Government to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that everyone has access to health facilities, goods and services so that they can enjoy, as soon as possible, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. It was held that by virtue of Article 21 of the Constitution, the State is under a legal obligation to ensure access to life saving drugs to patients. It was also held that a reasonable and equitable access to life saving medicines is critical to promoting and protecting the right to health.

The Division Bench of HC, comprising CHIEF JUSTICE VIKRAM NATH & JUSTICE J.B. PARDIWALA, further held there should be no shortage of manpower in all categories: specialists, doctors, nurses, servants, technicians, physiotherapists etc. It was held that the   patients   admitted   in   the   COVID   Hospitals   are demanding   attention   and   care   in   terms   of   the   medical   care protocols   required   for   proper   treatment.   

It was also observed that although not confirmed, but, there are reports both in the print and digital medias that the COVID patients have lost their lives on account of proper care and attention not being provided to   them.   It was further observed that it  has   also   come   to   the HC   knowledge   on   account   of dehydration and other negligence, COVID patients have lost their lives. The State Government was directed by the HC to look into the said issues and to resolve them.

It was also directed by the HC that all necessary medical protocols, as are laid down, for different categories of patients, should strictly be adhered to so that no life is lost because of any kind of negligence or non­-attendant.

It was directed that as days are passing by, all steps should be taken to improve the quality of medical treatment and other facilities at the Civil Hospital. It was held that no citizen of this country should gather a feeling that he is being treated differently than a person with necessary resources. It was also held that all   the   citizens   of   this   country   are   entitled   to   protection   of   their fundamental rights.

The aforesaid interim order was passed by Gujarat HC in Suo Motu Writ Petition, and the matter was listed for further hearing on 19/06/2020.

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