MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Tuesday slammed the Maharashtra goverment for stating that it would implement door-to-door vaccination drive for the elderly and the bedridden citizens after the Union government approve the policy formulated by the state's task force. The bench said it is even the state's responsibility to look after the health of the citizens.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Dhruti Kapadia seeking directives for door-to-door vaccination drive for the elderly and the bedridden citizens.
Additional government pleader (AGP) Geeta Shastri submitted the state's affidavit which mentioned the conditions laid down by state task force for door-to-door inoculation.
However, the judges noted that the state has mentioned in its affidavit that it would proceed with the task force's policy once the Union government approves it.
Irked over the contention, Chief Justice Datta said, "Health is state subject too and not only of the Union. How can you say that approval needs to be taken from Union government?"
"Has Kerala, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and other states taken any approval? How can you say your policy would be implemented once the Union gives approval?" the chief justice said while adjourning the case till Friday.
During the hearing, Kapadia pointed out from the affidavit that the state has said if there is any Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) instance then the treating doctor (family doctor) of such patients would be held responsible as the treating doctor has to give in writing that the patient can be inoculated and won't have any side effect.
At this, the bench summoned the advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to appear for the state in the next hearing.
The five conditions imposed by the task force include -
* Home vaccination will be done only for the beneficiaries those who are truly immobile and bedridden.
* The certificate to be mandatorily obtained prior to home vaccination, from the treating doctors/ family doctor of these beneficiaries, certifying that beneficiary is truly immobile and bedridden.
* The certificate of the treating doctor/family doctor mandatorily must certify that the concerned beneficiary is not likely to have Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) and in any case, if the beneficiary gets AEFI, then such treating doctor/family doctor shall be entirely responsible to manage and administer the appropriate Medical treatment to the beneficiary.
* The family member of the concerned beneficiary shall mandatorily provide the written consent.
* In order to avoid vaccine wastage, at least 10 concerned beneficiaries shall be made mandatorily available in closed proximity as 1 vial contains 10 doses of vaccine.