The Directorate General of Health Services has submitted a compliance report to the High Court saying it is monitoring whether any hospital refuses to treat patients infected with Covid-19 or not.
If any allegation of denying treatment to patients against any public or private hospital is received, stern action will be taken against the hospital authorities, the DGHS said in the report.
The DGHS submitted the report on June 30 through Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder in line with the HC's June 15 directives.
Citing the report, Amit told The Daily Star yesterday that the government directed the authorities concerned to fix and display the retail and refilling prices of oxygen cylinders at outlets and shops so that customers are not charged extra.
He said his office is scheduled to receive a report from the health ministry to this effect, and after getting the report, he will submit it to the HC.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim is set to hear the issue on Monday, the deputy attorney general added.
Following five writ petitions, the same HC bench on June 15 issued several directives and observed that no patient, regardless of whether they are infected with coronavirus, can be deprived of treatment at any government or private hospital.
If a patient dies or is deprived of treatment at a hospital due to negligence, it would be considered a criminal and punishable offence, the HC said.
The court directed the authorities concerned to take appropriate legal actions against those who show negligence in treatment at hospitals.
The bench also ordered the authorities to ensure that no government or private hospital denies treatment to any patient -- infected with Covid-19 or not.
It asked the government to strictly enforce the directives issued by the DGHS on May 11 and 24 for ensuring treatment of patients at all hospitals.
The government on June 16 filed a petition with the Supreme Court's Appellate Division challenging the HC observations and directives.
The same day, the apex court upheld the HC's three observations and directives that concern ensuring treatment of patients at all public and private hospitals across the country irrespective of whether or not they are infected with coronavirus and stayed others.
The three directives are: submission of reports by the health ministry and the DGHS by June 30 on whether the directives issued by the health ministry to public and private hospitals on May 11 and 24 have been implemented properly; the formation of a monitoring cell to ensure that private hospitals provide proper treatment to patients and that they do not charge extra or unreasonable fees; and fixing and displaying of retail and refilling prices of oxygen cylinders at outlets and shops so that customers are not charged extra.
In its May 11 and 24 circulars, the health ministry says all public and private hospitals must have separate arrangements for treating suspected Covid-19 patients, and private hospitals and clinics cannot deny treatment to patients, Covid-19 or otherwise, if they have the requisite facilities or equipment.
It also says if a private hospital or clinic does not have the requisite facilities or equipment to treat a patient, then it may refer the patients to another hospital, and patients can only be shifted after ensuring treatment at other hospitals in consultation with the Covid-19 hospital control room of DGHS.