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Delhi HC asks insurance companies to reduce delay in processing claims of Covid patients

Two benches of the Delhi High Court took note of delays in the issuance of no-objection certificates for Covid patients by insurance companies that are needed for discharge.

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New Delhi: Two benches of the Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the insurance companies to ensure that there are no delays in processing claims of Covid-19 patients.

A bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took note of the issue as it continued its day-to-day hearing on petitions and applications filed on various aspects of Covid management in Delhi, including oxygen supply and transport, black marketing and hoarding of supplies, and RT-PCR testing.

During the hearing, senior advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for Bhagat Chandra Hospital in Delhi, raised the matter and said that there has been a delay in the issuance of no-objection certificates that are required for the discharge of patients.

On this, the court observed, “As we are all aware, there is a long queue…and such delays are bound to result in more sufferings…We direct all insurance companies and TPAs to ensure that time taken to grant NOCs is reduced so that such problems do not arise.”

The court also appointed senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao as the amicus curiae in the case, to assist it with such issues.

Meanwhile, a single judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh also directed the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) to issue a direction to all insurance companies that the claims of Covid-19 patients are to be approved within a maximum period of 30 to 60 minutes.

This, Justice Singh asserted, is to ensure that there is no time lag in allocating beds to new patients.

The hearing was on a batch of individual pleas raising grievances concerning admission to hospitals for Covid-19 treatment and related issues.

Also read: Didn’t ask for 100 beds for judges at 5-star hotel, withdraw order or we’ll quash it: Delhi HC

Black marketing, hoarding of oxygen cylinders, medicines

The division bench of Justices Palli and Sanghi also appealed against hoarding and black marketing of oxygen cylinders as well as medicines.

“Nation is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is in times like these that we the people need to stand up and showcase our qualities and virtues all of us have. We appeal to the good sense of people to not resort of black marketing or hoarding of oxygen cylinders or medicines and to make them available to the needy people,” the bench said.

“Hoarding of medicines or oxygen cylinders leads to artificial scarcity to an extent which may not be there,” it added.

The bench also took note of the incident that occurred in Apollo Hospital in Delhi Tuesday, when the family members of a women, who allegedly died after failing to get a bed at the hospital, attacked the staff of the private healthcare facility.

“Such incidents are bound to demoralize the medical community which is serving tirelessly to save the lives of people without any rest or break whatsoever. We hope and expect that such incidents would not be repeated. The authorities, including the police should also be mindful of such conduct and be vigilant to prevent any such untoward incidents,” the judges observed.

Besides this, the court urged the Delhi government to consider various suggestions made during the hearing by senior advocates. This included the suggestion to seek assistance from the armed forces in management of the crisis, using old DTC buses instead of ambulances to ferry the dead and using mohalla clinics for immediate consultation and collection of test samples.

The court also sought a status report from the Delhi government on the number of RT-PCR tests being conducted by labs and the reason for fall in test numbers.

Also read: Delhi govt’s system failed as black marketing of oxygen cylinders, medicines going on — HC


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  1. “Reduce delays” by the High Court is a welcome step. Hope it applies the tenet onto itself as well.

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