India Has Taken Huge Strides in Providing Medical Facilities, Foreign Nationals Come Here for Treatment: HC

India has taken huge strides in providing medicare facilities and many patients from neighbouring countries come to receive treatment in hospitals here, the Delhi High Court has said, while rejecting a petition seeking mandatory introduction of video laryngoscopes in medical colleges and other healthcare institutions.

The high court dismissed the petition seeking direction to the Centre, Delhi government and the Indian Medical Association to ask these healthcare facilities to use video laryngoscopes alongside conventional laryngoscopes for teaching and training medical practitioners.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the court felt the jurisdiction of Public Interest Litigation is being misused only to secure personal benefits and such PILs are an abuse of the process of law which must be discouraged.

“This court, is, therefore, inclined to dismiss the petition with a warning to the petitioner to not file such frivolous petitions in the future,” the bench said, adding it is not for the courts to take a decision whether video laryngoscope should be mandatorily made available or not.

It said courts do not run governments and the decisions to procure instruments in hospitals are taken by the authorities depending on several circumstances.

“India has taken huge strides in terms of providing medical facilities and this court can take judicial notice of the fact that many patients from neighbouring countries come to India to avail the medical facilities provided by the hospitals in India. The medical facilities and the equipment that is available in the hospitals of our country are world class and are easily accessible to the public at large.

“In fact, India is famous for its medical tourism as it combines the latest technologies with qualified professionals at accessible costs,” the high court said.

It said the petitioner, who is not a doctor, has only placed on record a few journals to highlight the benefits of a video laryngoscope and has not done any research work to demonstrate that unless a video laryngoscope is used, the process of laryngoscopy will end in a failure.

The bench said the petition seems to be “sponsored by certain manufacturers to promote the video laryngoscope technology produced by them” and they are abusing the judicial process by filing the present PIL.

It said the petitioner has not brought any material to show that absence of video laryngoscope will result in fatalities and added that it is settled law that in case of policy decisions which are taken by the state, the courts should tread lightly, especially when such decisions pertain to the health sector.

“Laryngoscopy is a common procedure done in all hospitals which does not even require hospitalisation. Courts cannot force governments to procure video laryngoscope in all hospitals as it is a matter of policy,” the bench said.

The petitioner had said when a person cannot breathe, the healthcare provider uses a laryngoscope to guide an endotracheal tube (ETT) into the mouth, nose or voice box, to widen the trachea to keep the airway open so that air can get into the lungs. It was stated that intubation is usually performed in hospitals during an emergency or before surgery.

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