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Delhi High Court Urges Upgradation of Emergency Wards to Alleviate Overcrowding in Government Hospitals

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Published on: December 06, 2023 at 12:45 IST

The Delhi High Court has emphasized the urgent need to address the over-crowding issue in emergency wards of government hospitals, stressing the importance of providing timely and effective medical care to critical patients.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna acknowledged the significance of the initial hours, often referred to as the “golden hours,” in determining life or death outcomes for critically ill patients.

Recognizing the necessity for infrastructure improvement, particularly in emergency wards, the court directed the Union Government to initiate measures for enhancing the facilities in hospitals under its control in the national capital.

The bench also instructed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to focus on upgrading medical facilities, with a specific emphasis on emergency ward infrastructure.

The court underscored the need to strengthen the emergency care system, urging an increase in space, medical equipment, and staffing, including doctors.

The Union and Delhi Governments have been directed to submit affidavits on the proposed improvements within 12 weeks, and the matter is scheduled for a hearing on March 13, 2024.

The suo motu PIL, initiated in 2017, originally addressed safety and security concerns for medical specialists, violence against them, and the shortage of experts in public hospitals.

The court’s attention to the overcrowding issue in emergency wards stems from a broader examination of challenges faced by the healthcare system, as reported in a May 03, 2017, Times of India article titled “AIIMS doctors to get self-defence training.

Case Title: COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION V/s UNION OF INDIA & ORS