Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Saturday asked the administration to consider health and medical associations in discussion and decision making to address Covid- 19 pandemic. The court noted that the health care personnel’s, who are working on the ground, would be aware of the specific difficulties and needs required to address the issue. “Let the consideration of this issue and decision thereon be placed before us by the Secretary, Department of Health and Medical Education on next hearing,” the court directed The court also sought information from Health and Medical Education department (H&ME) about the steps taken regarding the availability of personal protection equipment’s (PPEs) and proposals for ensuing the same to all healthcare professionals in JK and Ladakh.
The court observed that healthcare workers be provided with all-sufficient equipment’s to deal with the present crisis. Regarding the needs of healthcare personnel, the court observed that the personnel engaged in the treatment of Covid- 19 patients and prevention of infection would be working beyond the call of their routine duties besides of overtime. The court remarked that it is possible that the administration may have accounted for such a contingency. “However, if this has not been done, the administration may consider the possibility of running 24 hours canteens or kitchens in all hospitals and institutions to enable the provision of the necessities of the healthcare and other personnel engaged in addressing the Covid-19 issues,” the court siad to the government.
In this connection, the bench directed that responsible NGOs and citizen volunteers could be joined for regulating these facilities and directed Secretary, H&ME to look into the matter and submit a report. In another allied issue regarding ensuring the provision of care to families of healthcare personnel or government personnel engaged in Covid-19 management, the court observed that it is essential to address certain specific needs of healthcare professionals. It observed that management of the current situation requires them to be out of homes way beyond normal eight hour duty routines. “Many of them may be having family responsibilities. There could be family members or dependents with health issues, who may be facing difficulties on account of the personnel not being available to attend to their needs,” the court observed.
In order to ensure the full attention of the healthcare personnel addressing Covid-19 issues, the court remarked that it is necessary that they be kept free of any personal tensions and needs. “It is, therefore, necessary to create a network of persons who would attend to the needs of the family members or dependents of all personnel (including those in the healthcare services) attending to COVID-19 issues,” the court noted in the order. It further remarked that it would enable efficient and optimised response by the persons addressing COVID-19 issues. The court in this regard directed the Secretary, Social Welfare Department (SWD) to examine the issue and make a decision on the creation of machinery for addressing this aspect. The court also directed the administration that it could look to the NGOs or citizen volunteers for mobilising a proper system for the issue and creation of an e-request dedicated mechanism for interaction. For this purpose, the court directed that a nodal officer would need to be identified to monitor the working of the system and directed Secretary, SWD, to file a report before the next date of hearing.