BMC to Take Legal Action Against Doctors and Clinics That Don’t Stay Open

BMC to Take Legal Action Against Doctors and Clinics That Don’t Stay Open

General practitioners, clinics, nursing homes, and so on have received a stark warning from the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. It is said that several doctors have been missing from duty during the pandemic in a time when hospitals are understaffed. 

The fact that clinics are closed means that non-COVID-19 patients will have to make the trip to the overburdened civic hospitals. The BMC commissioner also directed all 24 ward officers under its periphery to lodge a police case against non-adhering medical practitioners. A case will be filed under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). The decision was taken at a video conference between the BMC commissioner and ward officers belonging to the 24 wards.

The BMC mentioned that it had previously assigned 250 private doctors to report at COVID-19 quarantine and care facilities for a fortnight. Out of those, only 100 apparently turned up. As far as the safety of the doctors is concerned, the BMC has mentioned that it will provide at least two PPEs every day to doctors clinics across the city on the off chance that a COVID-19 positive patient visits them for consultation.  

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Additionally, the BMC has asked ward officers to keep one private hospital with at least 10 ICU beds and 50 to 100 standard beds in every ward. This is aimed to reduce the inflow of coronavirus patients in civic-run hospitals.

Several physicians have closed their clinics after the lockdown was announced in March. While exceptions are made for doctors who are deemed high-risk with comorbidities and other ailments, younger doctors are expected to answer the call to the frontlines. The civic body now has the authority to prosecute any doctor that’s not willing to conduct his/her duties.

The coronavirus has exposed the risks faced by those at the frontlines, particularly doctors and policemen. So far, 11 policemen from Mumbai have succumbed to the virus with a 57-year old constable being one of the latest victims. Separately, several doctors have previously tested positive for the coronavirus in the city, raising serious questions about their safety.

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