Right to Emergency Medical Services In India

9 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2020

Date Written: May 30, 2020


The onslaught of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic has awakened the individuals and governments globally from the delusion of possessing an efficient public health care system to the worst of the nightmares. The nightmare of people from most advanced countries dying on the streets due to non-availability of beds in hospitals is turning into reality during this pandemic.

Although the intellectuals worldwide are busy painting the post-COVID-19 scenario, it is difficult for anyone to paint a conclusive picture of pandemic aftermath. Nonetheless, this pandemic has white-washed the farce created by the States in providing efficient healthcare to its citizens.

The situation in India is much grave. Developed countries worldwide became helpless at the peak of the pandemic as the number of patients exceeded the public health care infrastructure. However, in India, the helplessness in providing adequate medical care is imposed on the citizens due to non-cooperation from private hospitals.

During the pandemic, the private Hospitals, on the one hand, refused to treat non- COVID 19 patients by mandating a COVID 19 negative certificate and on the other hand did not open up their infrastructure for the COVID-19 patients by citing health concerns of its negative patients. This non-cooperation of private hospitals was precipitated by inaction of the government in enforcing their writ on these hospitals.

These dire circumstances compel everyone to ponder upon a pertinent question related to emergency medical care in India. Whether as an Indian citizen, do we have any right to emergency medical care and whether the authorities are doing enough to ensure such right is not violated due to whims of management of private hospitals?

The question is as tricky as any question related to rights of Indian citizens enshrined in Constitution of India as it provides a dream of utopian State for its citizens, like the delusion of the efficient public health care system as stated above. However, Indians most often wake to the reality of their rights trampled upon without any redress by institutions created under the Constitution.

Suggested Citation

Dubey, Uttam, Right to Emergency Medical Services In India (May 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3639124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3639124

Uttam Dubey (Contact Author)

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