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HC asks Delhi govt to take prompt decision to resume normal services in hospitals

The Delhi High Court Tuesday said it is expected that the Delhi government will take a prompt decision to operationalise services that were suspended in government hospitals here amid the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The court said a prompt decision be taken so that people ailing from other diseases can also get medical treatment.

“The position regarding the working of government hospitals is that on account of the current wave of the pandemic, several facilities and departments in the government hospitals are not functioning.

“Looking to the reduced prevalence of the COVID-19 disease and the falling numbers as well as the positivity rate, it is hoped that the Delhi government would take prompt decision to make all facilities in government hospitals operational so that people ailing from other diseases can get treatment and resume their treatment,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said after perusing a status report filed by the state government.

The Delhi government’s status report also deals with various aspects, including ex-gratia to kin of victims of COVID-19, the status of bed escalation, hospital bed position being updated on daily basis on delhifightscorona.in.

The high court, on its own, has revived a disposed of petition in 2020 filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra related to COVID-19 testings and infrastructure, noting that the virus has raised its “ugly head” once again and the pandemic is raging with much greater intensity and “it is evident that the healthcare infrastructure is at the stage of imminent collapse” Regarding the functioning of a COVID-19 dedicated facility at 1241-bedded Indira Gandhi Hospital, senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, said the proposal for 1855 additional staff has been rejected by the administrative department of the government itself.

“We find this rather curious. The additional 1855 posts are meant to staff the huge super specialty hospital of the Delhi government. Hospital has to render indoor, outdoor, and emergency services and without proper staffing, qualified doctors, it cannot function.

“Let the relevant file notings in relation to the additional posts and its rejection be placed on record,” the bench said.

It also directed the administrative department of the government to re-examine the proposal keeping in view that the recruitment of additional staff is to ensure that the hospital functions properly.

“The proposal shall also be placed before the Lieutenant Governor for his consideration,” the bench said, adding that the order be communicated to the office of LG for his intervention and necessary action.

The high court, on November 9 last year, had said it hoped and expected the LG to look into and take a decision at the earliest on the issue of approving additional staff relating to the project of a COVID-19 dedicated facility at the hospital so that the functioning of the institution is not hampered.

The court was hearing a plea by Dwarka Court Bar Association, through advocate Y P Singh, seeking to make operation Indira Gandhi Hospital in Dwarka, which has been under construction for the last 8 years and is near completion now.

The high court had earlier directed the Principal Secretary (Home) of the Delhi government to monitor on weekly basis the progress made in the completion work of 1,241 bedded Indira Gandhi Hospital, which will be a COVID-19 dedicated hospital, and take appropriate disciplinary action against those found guilty of any lapse or negligence.

It had noted that the initial date of completion of the hospital project in Dwarka was February 2017 and thereafter, the bed capacity was increased from 700 to 1241 and the revised completion date was in September 2019 and it is yet to be completed. PTI

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