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Conditions at Koti maternity hospital disturbing

Observing that the conditions at Government Maternity Hospital at Koti in the State capital were disturbing, Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare to file an affidavit.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili passed this direction while hearing a taken-up PIL petition on the conditions at the hospital. The bench also instructed the Principal Secretary to ensure all defects at the hospital were rectified by the date of next hearing.

Hearing the suo moto taken up PIL plea based on a newspaper report in 2016, the CJ said the plight of the patients and attendants at the hospital was pathetic going by the report filed by Amicus Curiae K. Kiranmayee. Referring to the earlier affidavits filed by the government departments, the CJ noted that it was projected as if everything was clean and going smoothly at the newly constructed building at the hospital.

But the exhaustive report filed by Amicus Curiae pointed out that all was not well at the hospital as projected by the government. As against the sanctioned strength of 244 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other staff members, 157 posts were lying vacant, the report said.

Lawyer K. Kiranmayee explained to the bench that the newly constructed building was not being utilised fully. Only two out of the five floors were being used for extending services to the patients. Though night shelters too were constructed, they were being not utilised optimally as not many attendants of the patients knew about their availability. The waiting hall was not sufficient enough to meet the needs of the large number of attendants at the hospital.

The hospital was bogged down by issues like scarcity of drinking water also, she told the bench. In some cases, patients or their attendants were being compelled to pay amounts ranging from ₹ 5,000 to ₹ 10,000 to the hospital staff members to avail the services or get their work done.

“This is disturbing…the counter affidavits filed by the government are an eyewash,” said the CJ instructing the government to file a fresh status report on the matter. As the government counsel tried to explain, the CJ said a poor citizen cannot afford to go to corporate hospitals like others who can afford. The Hindu

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