HC notice to Centre on PIL for code of conduct for doctors

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Delhi High Court
New Delhi, May 22: The Delhi High Court today sought a response from the Centre and the Safdarjung hospital on a PIL seeking directions to frame a code of conduct and a platform for hospital staff to voice their grievances without inconveniencing patients.

Issuing notices to the Union Health Ministry, Safdarjung hospital and its resident doctors' association, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath sought their responses by August 7.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyers Joby P Varghese and Arpit Bhargava, who said patients at the hospital had to face problem during last week's two-day strike by resident doctors.

The advocates said the protest should not have disrupted public health services and doctors are duty bound to provide treatment to patients.

"They (doctors) are duty bound to provide treatment. In (the strike of) last few days, the right to life has been violated numerous times," the advocates said in their plea.

The PIL also cites examples of individuals who were denied access to medical aid due to the strike.

Demanding better security, clean drinking water and an action plan for more hostel facilities for doctors, the resident doctors at the hospital had gone on strike on May 9 and May 15.

The advocates also referred to some news reports which said that at least two persons had died on May 15 since the strike forced authorities to turn away several patients.

The strike was called off after representatives of the doctors met Health Ministry officials, who assured them that their demands would be met.


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