The health ministry has appealed challenging a High Court order that asked the authorities concerned to take legal action against hospitals and clinics if they are found negligent in rendering healthcare services to general patients amid the current pandemic situation.
"Following direction from the health ministry and directorate general of health, Attorney General office filed the appeal today with the Supreme Court's Appellate Division chambers court," said Additional Attorney General Murad Reza said.
In an order on Monday, the High Court passed said, denial of providing healthcare services to any patient in a health centre would be treated as a criminal offence. The court also directed the health ministry and the health directorate to bring individuals accused of such offences to book.
Pointing out that news of people dying without getting treatment at hospitals are being reported in the media every day, the court said if any critically ill patient is denied treatment at a public or private healthcare facility and eventually succumbs to her/his illness that death would be considered as a "death by negligence".
A virtual bench headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim came up with this landmark order on Monday after virtual hearings on three separate writ petitions over the matter.
The court also ordered the Ministry of Health and the Directorate General of Health Services to form monitoring cells to ensure constant monitoring of private hospitals, especially those in the Dhaka and Chattogram metropolises and divisional and district headquarters, so that they provide full health care services to all Covid-19 and non-Covid patients.