Only pvt doctors on COVID-19 duty covered by govt insurance: HC

Mumbai, Mar 9 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday
refused relief to the widow of a private doctor who died of
coronavirus, citing that the Rs 50 lakh insurance cover under
a Central scheme included only those private medical
practitioners who were drafted for COVID-19 duties.

A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I
Chagla dismissed a petition filed by Navi Mumbai resident
Kiran Surgade seeking Rs 50 lakh cover under the Pradhan
Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) for her husband who died
after contracting COVID-19 from a patient at his clinic.

According to the plea, the petitioner”s husband
Bhaskar Surgade, an Ayurveda doctor, got a notice from the
commissioner of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC),
asking him to keep his dispensary open and warned action if he
fails to comply with the notice.

The petitioner claimed that her husband opened the
clinic and started treating patients, including those infected
by coronavirus and he too contracted the disease and died of
it on June 10, 2020.

The petitioner applied for the Rs 50 lakh compensation
under the PMGKY insurance package but the request was turned
down on the ground that her husband was not serving in any
hospital or government healthcare centre and hence was not
eligible.

Appearing for the Maharashtra government, advocate
Kavita Solunke argued that the petitioner”s services were not
requisitioned and hence, he would not be eligible for the
insurance cover.

The bench in its order noted that only those private
doctors whose services are requisitioned for COVID-19-related
duties and responsibilities would be covered under the scheme.

The scheme clearly states that for a private
healthcare provider to be covered under the scheme, he or she
must be drafted or requisitioned by the state/Centre for
COVID-19-related responsibilities, the order stated.

“The petitioner would be necessarily required to prove
that Dr Surgade”s services were in fact requisitioned/drafted
in relation to COVID-19 duties by the state/Centre to seek
application of the Scheme,” the court said.

The court further said the NMMC notice only asked the
petitioner”s husband to keep his clinic open and the same
cannot be construed as a notice requisitioning his services
for the specific purpose of treating COVID-19 patients and/or
working in a COVID-19 hospital.

“There is a difference between specifically
requisitioning/drafting services and directing private
practitioners to not keep their clinic closed. The intent and
object of the NMMC notice was to encourage medical
practitioners to keep their dispensaries open,” the court
said.

The notice did not mandate that the said dispensaries
are to be kept open for COVID-19, it noted. PTI SP
ARU ARU


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI


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