INSTALLATION OF CCTVs IN ICUs OF DELHI HOSPITALS
Common Cause had filed a writ petition in the High Court of Delhi seeking installation of Close Circuit Monitors in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in government hospitals around the country to ensure that there is a check of the activities of hospitals staff and the condition of the patients in the ICUs. It was urged that this would also contribute to the wellbeing of the patient by obviating the need for the relatives of patients to enter the ICUs to visit their wards. Notices were issued to the Union of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in June 2006. The writ petition and the interim order passed by the Hon'ble Court are produced below:
IN THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
CIVIL EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No.10412 OF 2006.
IN THE MATTER OF :
COMMON CAUSE …….. Petitioner
Union of India. ……..Respondent
WRIT PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF MANDAMUS AND/OR ANY OTER APPROPRIATE WRIT, ORDER/ DIRECTION DIRECTING RESPONDENTS TO INSTALL CLOSE CIRCUIT CAMERAS AND SOUND SYSTEM FOR BENEFITS OF PATIENTS, DOCTORS AND RELATILVES TO MONITOR INTENSIVE CARE UNITS IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS.
The Hon'ble Chief Justice and His companion Justices of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court.
The humble petition of the petitioner above named :
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH :
1 That the Petitioner is a Society duly registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and is engaged in taking up various common problems of the people for securing redressal thereof. The Petitioner Society has also brought to court various constitutional problems. The Petitioner has an established locus standi in its capacity as a bonafide public interest organization for taking up matters of general public importance. The Petitioner is submitting the present public interest Petition for consideration of this Hon'ble Court.
2. That Petitioner Society is filing the instant petition seeking installation of close circuit monitors in ICUs in Govt. Hospitals in the city to ensure that there is a check on activities of hospital staff and the condition of the patients in the intensive care units. This is urgently required for the well being of the patients in the ICUs since relatives of patients who enter inside the ICUs to visit their patients would also disturb other patients.
3. Medical Superintendent and heads of the department in each of the wards can observe their staff and note their performance. Cleaners, sweepers etc., can also be seen doing work. This will help not only patients but doctors themselves also. It will be convenient for the patients, doctors and relatives.
4. Unconscious or traumatized patients are not in a position to convey their message to Nurses for their needs. From the point of view of society and well being of these patients in ICUs, close circuit cameras and sound system should be installed in Government Hospitals.
5. Family members and relatives of patients are not allowed to visit inside the ICU and rightly so to avoid infections. Regarding the progress of the patients near and dear ones are left with no option but to hear from Doctors and Nurses. Therefore the only solution to this problem is installation of close circuit cameras in ICUs.
6. That there is an urgent need to install electronic connections, cameras, sound systems & clinical monitors between each ICU's bed and a centrally located ICU center. Intensive Care Units are for critical patients requiring close medical supervision. Patients in ICUs cannot be visited by relatives. Queries as to the condition of patient are answered by nurses and doctors only when they find time. Therefore, monitors can easily be put to beneficial use in hospitals. It will help the relatives of patients and Doctors watch the progress or deterioration of the patients.
1. Medical superintendents and heads of the department in each of the wards can observe their staff and note their performance. Cleaners, sweepers etc., can also be seen doing work.
2. Because close circuit cameras and sound system would ensure that employees remain alert and attentive because they know well that they are under the lens. Patients also feel comfortable as they are assured of proper attention by doctors.
3. Because a close circuit camera system setup in Intensive Care Units would act as an adequate check on treatment given to patients by nurses and doctors in-charge of the unit and it would also be helpful to doctors themselves as relatives would be able to inform and help them for patient's need in time if possible.
4. Because a check by means of close circuit cameras would ensure that condition of each patient can be closely monitored. This would also ensure clinical environment free of infections being maintained.
8. That the petitioner has not filed any other writ petition before this Hon'ble Court or any other Court.
In the light of the facts and circumstances mentioned herein and for the reasons mentioned hereinabove, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ in the nature of mandamus to ;
(a) direct the respondents to install close circuit cameras and sound systems in ICU's in Government Hospitals;
(b) any other order/directions to the respondents as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
COMMON CAUSE ..... Petitioner
Through Ms.Meera Bhatia, Advocate
UOI ..... Respondent
Through Ms.Monika Garg, Adv. for UOI
HON'BLE THE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MS. JUSTICE HIMA KOHLI
A counter affidavit is filed by the Union of India as against the prayer in the writ petition for installing Close Circuit camera and sound system in ICU's of Government Hospitals in Delhi. The Union of India by their affidavit has stated that it is decided to install CCTV (close circuit TV) at strategic locations of the premises of the three Central Government hospitals, namely, Safdarjang Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lady Hardings Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi.
We, however, feel that initially the same may be installed in the aforesaid three hospitals, but the same should be extended to all other W.P.(C) 10412/2006 hospitals, like Maulana Azad Medical College, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Pant Hospital and such other hospitals which are being run by the Government of NCT of Delhi. However, no counsel for the Govt. of NCT of Delhi is present before us. A copy of this order be served on the Standing Counsel for Govt. of NCT of Delhi and also to the Chief Secretary, so that necessary action for compliance could be taken by the Delhi Government. In case any help is sought by the State Government in this regard from the Union of India, such kind of help and assistance as is required shall be provided. An action taken report shall be filed by the Union of India as also
by the State Government within eight weeks from today.
Renotify on 14th February, 2007.
HIMA KOHLI, J
DECEMBER 20, 2006