The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued a notice to the state government on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a former BJP health minister over “general lack of apathy” in the management and administration of state-run hospitals at Sidhpur in Patan district.
A division bench of Chief Justice AJ Desai and Justice Biren Vaishnav issued the notice, which is returnable on June 26.
The petitioner, Jay Narayan Vyas, is a former MLA from the Sidhpur Assembly constituency and served as cabinet minister of health and family welfare from 2007 and 2012 in the then-Narendra Modi government. Before the 2022 Assembly elections, Vyas quit the ruling BJP and joined the Opposition Congress.
In the PIL, Vyas said state-run general and cancer hospitals came up at Sidhpur way back in 2012, but several posts of doctors as well as nurses and technicians, among others, still remain vacant at the two premier medical facilities in Patan district.
Despite lofty and admirable ambitions to have a kidney centre as well as an ayurvedic hospital and a homeopathy college, there is “a general lack of apathy by the respondent authorities in the management and administration of the said hospitals (located close to each other),” the PIL stated.
The hospitals “are nearly completely empty and deserted for over 10 years now, depriving thousands of poor patients from north Gujarat and (neighbouring) Rajasthan” of treatment, said the petitioner.
Five out of the 10 approved posts of doctors are vacant in the general hospital. All seven posts of physicians are vacant in the kidney centre (attached to the general hosptial), and all but the post of pathologist in the cancer hospital is vacant, it said.
The ayurvedic hospital and college is completely non-functional, while the homeopathy college has only two visiting faculties, said the former state health minister in his petition.
Vyas said in the past he made a representation to the government for implementation of MoUs signed with different kidney and cancer institutes and appointment of doctors, but nothing happened.
In the PIL, the former minister sought the HC’s direction to the government to appoint doctors and fill the other vacant posts in the two hospitals and the kidney centre. PTI