In a plea filed by the former Union Minister Dr. Ashwani Kumar
, which sought for the protection of rights of the elderly, the Supreme Court has directed the States to ensure that priority is accorded to senior citizens in hospitals in terms of admissions at private hospitals besides at government medical institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in modification to its previous order that was applicable only to government hospitals since it is mostly private hospitals which cater most of the population in the country.
The Apex Court on multiple occasions had issued directions after hearing an application filed by the petitioner in person seeking directions in terms of older people needing more care and protection in the advent of Covid-19, with Dr. Ashwani Kumar soughting appropriate directions for timely payment of old age pension to all elder people in receipt of said pension.
The court further contended that old people, especially the ones living alone are the most vulnerable in this state and hence should be eligible for paid pension as well as be provided with necessary medicines, masks, sanitisers and other essential goods by respective states.
The Central Government was directed to obtain all medicial and geriatric care facilities available to senior citizens in each district by State Governments and further directed for a plan of action be prepared on the basis of the information gathered by the Union of India by giving both publicity to the provisons of the MWP Act as well as making the senior citizens aware of the provisions of such statutory rights and acts. [READ ORDER]