‘The equipment must work, what kind of a hospital is this?’: Delhi HC to govt | Delhi News

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The Delhi High Court Monday asked the Delhi government to ensure equipment in its hospitals is working while expressing its concern about the condition of government hospitals in the national capital.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora — while hearing a 2017 suo motu plea concerning a news report in which a newborn died as an ICU bed was not made available to him in any government hospital in the Capital — orally said to Delhi government’s counsel, “In GTB hospital, the CT scan machine should start working. The equipment must work. What kind of a hospital is this?”.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government counsel informed the bench that an “inquiry was taking place”.

Earlier this month, the bench had asked the government to state the amount spent on the health sector in the last five years, after taking note of a report by The Indian Express about a man, injured after jumping out of a PCR van, who was denied admission in four government hospitals in the city and later died.

Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, mentioned on Monday that “nine Delhi government hospitals do not have ICU beds”.

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The bench asked the government counsel to “seek instructions”, while indicating it intends to pass an order asking the Secretary of Health GNCTD to ensure all equipment is functional in a month.

In the previous hearing, Aggarwal had said the man was first taken to Jag Pravesh Chandra (JPC) hospital and then to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTB) in an ambulance. GTB hospital, however, did not admit him on the grounds of “non-availability of CT scan”, and Lok Nayak hospital on the grounds of “non-availability of ICU or ventilator bed”. Thereafter, RML hospital refused to admit the man “without any justification”, and then, on being brought to JPC hospital, he was “declared dead on arrival” at 5.45 am on January 3.

Apart from RML Hospital, the other three hospitals fall under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.

“Please speak to your secretary. March 31 is approaching… Please ensure money spent on this is in the budget,” the bench orally said, adding that in case the officer concerned had any suggestion, it could also be incorporated.

Noting that the Delhi government’s inquiry was underway, the bench asked the Centre’s counsel to state whether any inquiry is being conducted with respect to the RML Hospital — a Central government-run healthcare facility.

It also asked Aggarwal, the counsel appearing for the Delhi government, and the Centre to submit their suggestions on the matter by Tuesday. Listing the matter for Wednesday, the bench directed the Secretary of Health GNCTD to join the proceedings through virtual conferencing.

The Delhi government, in its short affidavit, had said that between April 1, 2017, and January 24 this year, the total Budget expenditure for all its hospitals was Rs 21436.80 crore.

The Centre in its note has submitted that it has “no objection, in principle” to the establishment of a Central portal to provide information on real-time bed availability.


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