Sunday, July 7, 2019

Delhi High Court takes cognizance of two PILs filed by Heart Care Foundation of India

Recently, the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) had filed two PILs on issues of public health importance.

On 3rd of this month, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Delhi High Court had strictly directed Central Government to prepare a “partial list” of Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs by September 12. Currently no such list is available by the government and the chemists and pharmacists are dispensing the schedule drugs on the plea that they do not have a list of OTC drugs where medical prescription is not required. The Central Government has filed its counter affidavit in which the Government had stated that it has constituted committee for the formulation of law on OTC drugs, however, the minutes of the meetings conducted by the sub-committee are under preparation. The central government standing counsel representing the health ministry told the court that the sub-committee's report was being examined by another sub-committee which shall give its final report in three months to the DCC which will forward it to the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) for further consideration.

However, the bench was not impressed and said that going by the status report shown to it, the government appears to "have not understood what they (doctors) are asking for". "As things stand today, it is not that difficult to provide a list of OTC drugs," the court said

In another case, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Delhi High Court directed India Railways, Delhi Metro, all courts in Delhi to file their status report in the PIL about the installation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) machine in public places like courts, railways and metro. The Hon’ble Chief Justice had asked all the respondents in the PIL to give the status report in bullet points thereby covering following points:

·         What is the present status of health and medical infrastructure?
·         What are the proposed requirements of health and medical infrastructure?
·         Whether or not the human resources / personnel are trained in CPR?
·         Whether all ambulances (Basic Life Support and Advance Life Support) are as per AIS-125 Part 2 standards or not?

In the affidavit filed by Central Government, it had been mentioned that as per Automotive Industrial Standards (AIS-125) part 2 standards all ambulances i.e. Basic Life Support Ambulance and Advance Life Support Ambulances should have Automated External Defibrillator (“AED”) machine.   

Over 50 people die in Delhi alone daily because of cardiac ailment and 75% of them can be saved if BCLS or ACLS support is available. All public places should have placement of AIS 125 part 2 standards of and ambulance or a center with these standards.

These directions of the High Court were in direct response to the PILs filed by HCFI, which has been named amicus curiae in both the cases.

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