The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, has invalidated the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s order that hospitals in the city would only treat Delhi residents till the rising COVID-19 cases are contained.
Baijal, the Chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), instructed departments and officials of NCT of Delhi to ensure that no patient is denied treatment on the grounds of his/her domicile so that people who approach Delhi hospitals seeking treatment from outside the national capital are not turned away. The move is set to bring relief to patients and their families from outside Delhi who are seeking treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, on Monday, Delhi LG directed that the Delhi government authorities cannot deny treatment to patients on grounds that they are not residents of Delhi.
Delhi LG of Delhi directed depts and authorities of NCT of Delhi to ensure that treatment is not denied to any patient on grounds of not being a resident of Delhi. This decision will bring relief to patients and their families from outside Delhi who seek treatment during pandemic— Bharti Jain (@bhartijainTOI) June 8, 2020
Arvind Kejriwal announces “reservation” of city hospitals for Delhi residents
The decision to allow outsiders to avail the services of hospitals in Delhi came a day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, citing the increasing number of caseloads in the city, passed a diktat ordering all the private and state hospitals to treat only Delhi residents till the COVID-19 cases are brought under control.
Informing about the first-of-its-kind of ‘exclusive reservation’ of hospitals in the city for Delhi residents, the Aam Aadmi Party chief said there were several Central government hospitals in the city that would continue to treat all patients.
“For today, we have decided that the 10,000 beds under the Delhi government will be kept for residents. The beds under the Central government can be used by all. Private hospitals covering special treatment will be opened to all,” the Chief Minister said. Then borders, he added, will be open from tomorrow.
The Delhi chief minister said that the decision to reserve hospitals for Delhi residents was taken based on the advice of a special five-member committee of doctors. Kejriwal defended his decision saying that the committee estimates that Delhi will require 15,000 beds by the end of June and if city hospitals are kept open to people from other states, 9,000 beds will be occupied in a matter of just 3 days.