NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court on Monday expressed its anguish after learning that there are only six CT scan machines in city government hospitals for catering to three crore people.
Stressing the need to ramp up infrastructure and fill vacancies in the health sector, the high court pointed out that people are losing lives as they are not being attended to at government hospitals due to a shortage of facilities and staff.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated on its own in 2017 concerning the issue of the non-availability of ICU beds and ventilator facilities in government hospitals.
In January, the court was told that a man died after being denied treatment by three Delhi government and one central government hospitals on various pretexts, including non-availability of ICU/ventilator bed or CT scan.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora noted that Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, in a status report, has admitted that there are a lot of shortcomings, including shortage of doctors, paramedics and medicines, and also given his suggestions.
Bharadwaj, who inspected several government hospitals, claimed that whenever he convened meetings with hospital staff, Delhi Health Secretary SB Deepak Kumar remained absent. However, Kumar, who was present in the court, denied the allegations and said he attended all the meetings.
“I have accompanied the minister in various hospitals and, wherever I have not been able to go, I informed him and sent my OSD (Officer on Special Duty) or some other officials with him. I have always been there in the meetings and the minister’s minutes of meetings will show my presence,” Kumar submitted.
There are 39 hospitals run by the Delhi government. Bharadwaj held top officials of the health and finance department responsible for the state of affairs.
Regarding non-payment of salaries to doctors and staff working in Mohalla clinics, the status report has said that the Assembly took-up the issue and held Principal Secretary (Finance) and then and Secretary (Health) responsible for intentionally creating these problems.
The bench, which said it intends to set up a committee to look into the shortcomings and consider the suggestions of various authorities and give a report to the court, asked the various departments involved in the matter to give their reports and suggestions by February 9.
A month back, man died after being denied treatment
In January, the court was told that a man died after being denied treatment by three Delhi government and one central government hospital on various pretexts, including non-availability of ICU/ventilator bed or CT scan. The victim was stated to have been taken to the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and the Lok Nayak Hospital and the Centre’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.