Court told non-Covid patients turned away

Lawyer claims patients denied admission without coronavirus certificate


​ Our Correspondent May 08, 2020
A file photo of the Sindh High Court.

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court issued on Thursday notices to the federal government, Sindh government, health secretary and other parties, seeking their replies on a petition complaining of hospital staff not properly attending to patients suffering from other illnesses than the coronavirus.

Advocate Asim Iqbal claimed before the court that any patient brought to either a government or a private hospital was tested for the coronavirus before being admitted to an emergency ward.

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"At private hospitals, accident victims are asked to get tested for the coronavirus before being admitted," he said, adding that patient were denied admission if they were unable to produce a coronavirus certificate. "And until they are tested, they continue to suffer in agony."

The advocate questioned, "What law permits [hospitals] to ask for a coronavirus certificate before admitting a patient to an emergency ward?"

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He called for taking action against negligent doctors, making it mandatory for hospitals to provide immediate medical assistance to all patients, and healthcare facilities being ordered to open out-patient departments immediately.

The court ordered the parties to submit replies on the plea by May 13. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2020.

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