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Delhi HC calls for expert committee to handle inadequate infra at govt hospitals

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday called for the formation of an expert committee to effectively handle the problem of inadequate infrastructure and manpower at the government hospitals to treat critical care patients.

New Delhi, Feb 13,2024:  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday called for the formation of an expert committee to effectively handle the problem of inadequate infrastructure and manpower at the government hospitals to treat critical care patients.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora was dealing with a suo motu PIL initiated in 2017 regarding the availability of ICU beds and ventilator facilities at the government hospitals in the national capital.

The court has been stressing for the medical infrastructure to keep pace with the city’s population.

On Tuesday, the bench said that the expert committee would come up with ways to augment manpower and infrastructure at the state-run hospitals, and shall submit its first report to the court in four weeks.

“The court is of the opinion that huge investment as well as structural reforms in the functioning of government hospitals without entering into blame game is the need of the hour,” the bench said.

It added: “We deem it expedient to appoint a committee of experts to make recommendations. (The committee would) suggest ways for optimising the existing resources in hospitals in Delhi owned and run by the Centre, Delhi government and MCD.”

In January, the court had questioned the AAP government about the apparent mismatch between demand and available resources. The bench had directed the Delhi government to disclose the amount spent on enhancing the health sector in the last five years.

In December last year, the bench had directed the Delhi government to file a status report outlining its plans to address this issue.

The recent application filed by Amicus Curiae advocate Ashok Aggarwal brought up an incident where a critically injured man, who was reportedly refused treatment at several government hospitals, died after jumping from a moving PCR van.

An official said that the injured man was transferred from one hospital to another, where the unavailability of beds or equipment ultimately led to his death.

The 47-year-old man, Pramod, reportedly died after being denied admission by the Jag Pravesh Chandra (JPC) Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, and Lok Nayak Hospital (LNJP).

During the hearing earlier, the court had questioned how it was possible that no beds were available in four government hospitals, suggesting a shortage of overall bed capacity.

The court had also expressed concern about budget allocation for healthcare getting diverted to other funds and directed the government to explore the feasibility of setting up a central portal indicating real-time information about bed availability in all city hospitals.

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