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6- Member expert committee appointed by Delhi HC to assess medical infra in Delhi

New Delhi: A bench led by acting Chief Justice Manmohan of Delhi high court constituted a six member committee of experts to assess the medical infrastructure of state-run hospitals in the Capital, and to propose ways for the optimisation of existing resources. The six-member panel consists of Dr SK Sarin, chancellor of ILBS; Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor and head of the department of endocrinology and metabolism at AIIMS; Dr DK Sharma, Dr RP Eye Centre, AIIMS; Dr Suresh Kumar, director, Lok Nayak hospital; Dr Piyush Gupta, professor of paediatrics and principal, University College of Medical Sciences; and Dr Deepak K Tempe, vice chancellor, ILBS.

The Delhi High Court took suo moto cognisance on the inadequate infra of Delhi government hospitals. The bench has tasked the committee with recommending measures to ensure the availability of uninterrupted supply of medicine, consumables, and adequate manpower to operate high end equipment and critical care units in government hospitals, and directed the panel to submit an interim report within four weeks, and submit monthly reports thereafter.

“It is apparent that the infrastructure, (be it in the form of machines, medicines or manpower) is woefully inadequate at Delhi hospitals. With only six CT Scan machines being available in nineteen Delhi Government hospitals (which cater to a population in excess of three crores), the infrastructure needs to be ramped up manifold. After all in cases of emergencies like serious accident victims or strokes or heart attacks, there is no time to shift the patients to private clinics for scans. Without critical infrastructure being available at Delhi Government hospitals, the ‘golden hour’ of saving a life may be lost.” the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, said in an order.

“This Court is of the view that huge investments along with structural reforms in the functioning of Government hospitals, without entering into a blame game, are the need of the hour to overcome years of neglect and apathy which can only be done if there is a consensus on measures to be adopted both in the short and long term,” the court added. Delhi’s health minister admitted to a shortage of doctors, paramedics, and medicines, as well as non-functional radiological equipment, and suggested implementing a public-private partnership model for radiological tests.