COVID-19 ex gratia for private doctors: Delhi government to reconsider its compensation policy
New Delhi: The Delhi government has informed the Delhi High court that it would be reconsidering its COVID-19 ex gratia policy which excludes private doctors at the moment, in response to a high court order which urged the government to consider giving compensation to all doctors including the private medical practitioners, while the court was hearing a plea challenging the...
New Delhi: The Delhi government has informed the Delhi High court that it would be reconsidering its COVID-19 ex gratia policy which excludes private doctors at the moment, in response to a high court order which urged the government to consider giving compensation to all doctors including the private medical practitioners, while the court was hearing a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the same.
The court had asked the government to include the doctors who died in the line of duty in private hospitals in its compensation policy on January 25, reports the Hindustan Times.
The other private doctors were left out by the state government. The response came while the court was hearing a plea filed by the spouse of a doctor who died of Covid while practicing at his private clinic at Vishwas Nagar. The spouse had made a representation on February 6 to the government for grant of the ex-gratia amount.
The doctor had passed away in June 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, while he was on Covid duty at the New Life Hospital in GTB Nagar.
The plea stated that the Delhi government had excluded private doctors and paramedical staff from its policy of ex-gratia grant worth Rs 1 crore to the kin of 'Corona Warriors' who died due to coronavirus while they were performing their COVID-19 duties. The Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the plea which was filed in the Delhi High Court.
The petitioner's house is to be confiscated by the bank over her inability to repay the home loan, reports the Hindustan Times.
The counsel for the Delhi government informed the two judge bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Dinesh Kumar Sharma on Friday that the court's view has been communicated to the "highest level" and the government is reconsidering its death compensation policy. The council sought more time to file an affidavit on any policy decision that the cabinet would be taking.
The counsel further informed the court that a decision in the matter has been delayed due to the assembly elections happening currently in five states and the upcoming civic polls.
However, the court observed that "elections will keep happening in one or the other states". As per the HT report, it stated, "Let the latest policy decision be placed on record so that the suffering of the petitioner is alleviated at the earliest."
The court gave the government four weeks time to respond and further posted the matter for hearing on April 20. The court had also observed on January 25 that the distinction of the Delhi government in awarding the ex gratia is "not justified" because doctors and other paramedic staff of even private hospitals, which were requisitioned by the Delhi government, are covered by the cabinet decision.
Earlier while the plea was being heard, the counsel for the Delhi government had submitted in the high court that the doctor was neither assigned nor impaneled for COVID-19 duty by the Delhi government, therefore he is not covered under the scheme. The Delhi government submitted that the doctor had decided to see patients out of his own will, even when the Union Ministry of Health had asked the people of a particular age group to be careful.
The Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported this response from the Delhi government, while the court adjourned sine die the plea challenging the legality and constitutional validity of a Delhi government's decision to exclude private doctors from its compensation policy related to the kin of doctors who died due to COVID-19 while performing their duty during the outbreak of the pandemic.
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