In 1992, the Hon’ble supreme court made, listed under article 21 categorical:- The State of India is legally bound to ensure access to health as it is an integral part of RIGHT TO LIFE because if any citizen is denied, their life is in jeopardy and so are all other rights.
But Delhi government on 7th June announced to restrict access to health care only to residents of Delhi. Though this move has been blocked by Lt. Governor but let us get into whys and how’s of the decision.
There was a very high rise in the number of cases in the national capital, this caught the authorities napping. The failures in preparedness were put in the public domain. Moves and tricks we’re formulated to divert public attention from the original issue.
• Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal amid huge controversy over the number of dedicated COVID beds, quoted “In the cabinet meeting today, a decision has taken regarding healthcare facilities. There are 10,000 beds in hospitals of the Delhi government and the same number of beds are available in those hospitals run by Centre. We are opening borders from tomorrow. Delhi hospitals will be available for the people of Delhi only, while hospitals run by the Central government will remain open for all.”
“Anyone can get treatment in hospitals run by the Central government. Private hospitals in Delhi will also be reserved for the people of Delhi. But there are some hospitals which offer surgeries/treatment like neurosurgery which is not available in other parts of the country. Those hospitals will remain open for everyone. I think this is a fine balance to protect the interest of people of Delhi and people from outside Delhi,”
To explain this move a few reasons we’re cited:- Delhi has an International Airport and two of the busiest railway station and all 15 special trains were routed to and fro from Delhi.
Being national capital Delhi has most of the head offices and departmental headquarters. This all contributed to the strict incline of pressure on Delhi healthcare facilities.
Article 21 states that “no person shall be deprived of his life”. This Article is not even “citizen-centric” it is “person-centric” let alone area-specific.
• In 1989, the Hon’ble Supreme Court after referring to the Code of Medical Ethics has termed that “there can be no second opinion that preservation of human life is of paramount importance. That is so on account of the fact that once life is lost, the status quo ante cannot be restored as resurrection is beyond the capacity of man. The patient, whether he be an innocent person or be a criminal liable to punishment under the laws of the society, it is the obligation of those who are in-charge of the health of the community to preserve life so that the innocent may be protected and the guilty may be punished….”.
• In its judgment Supreme Court hold that “Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation on the State to preserve life……A doctor at the Government hospital positioned to meet this State obligation is, therefore, duty-bound to extend medical assistance for preserving life. Every doctor whether at a Government hospital or otherwise has the professional obligation to extend his services with due expertise for protecting life. No law or State action can intervene to avoid/delay the discharge of the paramount obligation cast upon members of the medical profession. The obligation being total, absolute and paramount, laws of procedure whether in statutes or otherwise which would interfere with the discharge of this obligation cannot be sustained and must, therefore, give way.”
After being aware of these judgments and constitution this move fail to hold on the moral and legal accounts. Politicians, as always have played their game of dirt and swamp but the poor citizens fell prey to this game. This move dented the integrity of Indians and any such moves must be condemned.