Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey has directed State Government and the Health Department to improve healthcare facilities in all the Government run hospitals and take steps to decrease the infant mortality rate.

This significant direction has been passed in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking adequate healthcare facilities in the State particularly in G B Pant Hospital Srinagar. It has been submitted by the petitioner that Government run Pediatric Hospital lacks not only Doctors and paramedical staff but necessary infrastructure and equipments like ventilators, laboratory facilities and medicines as well despite the fact that these facilities are need to avoid deaths of infants.

“It is incumbent upon the Government to provide best healthcare facilities to all citizens including the physically challenged, orphans and destitutes. In a welfare State the primary duty of the Government is to provide adequate medical facilities to all the citizens”, the DB said.

“There has been a lot of clamour from the citizens of the State that the facilities provided in the Government run hospitals are not up to the mark and they are not upgraded from time to time. Further even if it is upgraded it is not properly maintained”, the DB observed, adding “it is more often stated that lapse in the administration to ensure proper maintenance is the cause of most of ills that affect the Department of Health Services”.

Division Bench further observed, “Government has to take sufficient steps not only to provide proper infrastructure but maintenance and upkeep so that all the infrastructure facilities are put to proper use and they are not rendered malfunctioned at the need of the hour”, adding “as to how the medical care facilities are to be provided to children, men, and women etc. is the paramount duty of the State Government”.

DB hoped that the State Government would take all necessary steps to improve the medical services in the Government run hospitals. “In various status reports filed by the State Government from time to time it is stated that there is decline in the infant mortality but the counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the infant mortality rate has increased or is static”, the DB further observed.

Accordingly, DB directed State Government and the Health Department to enhance the healthcare facilities in all the Government run hospitals and take steps to decrease the infant mortality rate. “There is no much scope for the court to issue directions as to how the issue should be addressed. These issues can be addressed by the experts like doctors and the department concerned and we hope that they will do so”, the DB added. - Daily Excelisor 


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