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“Authorities should not insist on production of RT-PCR report when a more clinching evidence is available”: Madras HC orders Health Authorities of Tamil Nadu

“Authorities should not insist on production of RT-PCR report when a more clinching evidence is available”: Madras HC orders Health Authorities of Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court ordered the Health Authorities of the Tamil Nadu Government to process the claim for compensation of a widow of a private medical practitioner who contracted Covid-19 infection on duty and succumbed to it, without insisting for his RT-PCR report.

A Single Bench of Justice N Anand Venkatesh depreciated the practice of sticking to the technicalities, and held that the authorities need not insist on production of RT-PCR report for processing the claim when CT-Scan report is already available, which is a more clinching evidence.

The Judge in his statement observed, “if not for the selfless services rendered by the Doctors, a major population of this country would have been wiped out due to the deadly Covid-19. Therefore, the least that should be done for a Doctor, who has lost his life due to Covid-19, which had spread to him while he was on duty, is to acknowledge the selfless service of the Doctor and provide with the necessary compensation to his family.”

Apparently, the petitioner had made a claim under the PM Garib Package Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting Covid-19 which provides a coverage of Rs. 50,00,000/- for both Public Health-care providers as well as the Doctors and staffs belonging to Private Hospitals, if they die due to Covid-19. 

She intimidated the court that her husband, who was treating Covid-19 positive patients, started feeling the symptoms and was immediately scrambled to a Private Hospital where 'CT Chest Covid Screening Test' was performed and it was deduced that he was infected with the virus.

Subsequently on his demise, the Petitioner moved an application before the concerned Authorities seeking for the insurance coverage provided by the above said scheme, but it was declined by the Joint Director of Health Services in the absence of RT-PCR Test result of her deceased husband.

In these circumstances, Justice Venkatesh observed, “it is very clear from the 'CT-Chest Covid Screening Test' that the husband of the petitioner was afflicted with Covid-19. When such a clinching document is available, there is no requirement for insisting for the RTPCR Test result. In cases of this nature, the Authorities must not stick to technicalities and the claim must be considered with more humanness with the available documents which clearly substantiates the fact that the husband of the petitioner was suffering from Covid-19.”

The Bench therefore directed to the Joint Director of Health Services to process the claim made by the Petitioner without insisting for the RT-PCR Test result and ordered that if otherwise requirements are satisfied, the authority shall process her claim form and forward the same to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Tamil Nadu within two weeks.

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