Allahabad High Court: Medical System in Villages, Small cities of UP “Ram Bharose”

Deepali Kalia

Allahabad High Court, while hearing a PIL filed over the situation of COVID 19 and the conditions of quarantine centers in Uttar Pradesh said that the entire medical system in UP villages and small cities is at God’s mercy (Ram Bharose).

The following observation was made by a high court bench comprising of Justics Siddarth Verma and Ajit Kumar as they took into consideration the death of Santosh Kumar (64) who was admitted to an isolation ward at a Meerut Hospital.

Santosh Kumar had on April 22, fainted in a hospital bathroom and efforts made to revived him had been fruitless and as a result he had died.

An investigation report found that the doctors at the hospital had failed to identify him and disposed of his body as an unidentified person.

The bench commented on the incident that if this was the situation at a medical college in Meerut then the entire medical system in smaller cities and villages can only be considered to be at Ram Bharose.

“Upon perusal of the report submitted by district magistrates of five districts .we have no hesitation in observing that health infrastructure is absolutely insufficient in city areas to meet the requirement of city population and in the rural areas the community health centres are virtually lacking in respect of life-saving gadgets.”

“In district Bijnor the urban population as per 2011 census is shown to be 925312. We have no doubt in observing that it must have gone up 25% more by 2021, but to our utter surprise there is no level-3 hospital in district Bijnor. The three Government Hospitals have only 150 beds, whereas, the total of number if BIPAP machines is 5 and High Flow Nasal Cannula is only 2,” the court stated.

“If we take 5 the population of rural areas to be 32 lacs then since there are only 10 Community Health Centres, so one health centre has the load of 3 lac people and against 3 lac people it has only 30 beds. Meaning thereby, one CHC can cater the need of health care to only 0.01% population and there is no BIPAP machine or High Flow Nasal Cannula available. Only 17 oxygen concentrators are available with 250 oxygen cylinders against 300 beds,” The court further continued.

Thus, the court directed the state government to fulfill its obligation to its citizens and provide sufficient health care infrastructure.

“Every nursing home/ hospital, which has more than 20 beds, should have at least 40 per cent of their beds as intensive care units. Every nursing home and hospital, which has more than 30 beds, should compulsorily have an oxygen production plant”, the court stated

The court further suggested that every 2nd and 3rd tier town of UP should be given at least 30 ambulances and every village at least 2 ambulances with intensive care facilities.

The bench also questioned the state government and said  “one cannot understand as to why the Government of ours which is a welfare state is not trying to manufacture the vaccine itself on a large scale,” and suggested that big medical companies should start producing the vaccines by taking the formula from any of the vaccine manufacturers around the world.

The matter will again be heard before the court on May 22.

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