Uttarakhand govt told to answer 97 questions scrutinising health facilities
Uttarakhand high court has directed the state government to submit its replies to 97 questions regarding status of facilities in the state’s primary healthcare centres, community healthcare centres and district hospitals.
The court gave these directions on Thursday while hearing a PIL filed by Tehri Garhwal based Shanti Prasad Bhatt in 2013, regarding the status of healthcare system and implementation of various health schemes in the state.
HT has a copy of the 97 questions, some of which require submissions on the number of health staff in the state, their attendance in the last two months, availability of medicines and its free distribution, availability and number of Jandhan Aushadhi centres, capacity to handle accident, delivery cases, availability of intensive care units and blood bank facilities, number of patients referred to higher medical facilities, location of the nearest referral medical facility, availability of x-ray and ultrasound facilities, anti-venom and anti-rabies injection facilities, proper waste management, 108-ambulance facility, oxygen supply, dialysis facility and so on.
During the last hearing in the matter on September 20, 2020, the HC while widening the ambit of the PIL, had directed the petitioner to prepare a questionnaire regarding status of healthcare facilities in the state’s primary healthcare centres, community healthcare centres and district hospitals, said Abhijay Negi, counsel of the petitioner.
“Accordingly, on Thursday, we submitted a list of 31 questions for PHCs, 32 for CHCs and district hospitals, 34 for district hospitals. Responding to the same, the HC directed the state government to submit its replies on all 97 questions within 4 weeks,” he said.
In its September 20 order, the HC had stated, “We are of the view that in larger public interest, the medical facilities throughout the State of Uttarakhand requires to be considered...There has been a constant outcry from the public with regard to the lack of proper medical facilities, especially in the hilly areas. Since a large portion of the State is situated in the hilly areas, the people living there should necessarily be accorded with at least minimum medical facilities. Establishing appropriate medical facilities also has various problems. It is these issues, the State would have to balance, namely, the medical facilities to be provided to the public on the one hand and the environment on the other to strike a balance”.
The HC in its order stressed that “We deem it just and necessary to call upon the State to furnish particulars with regard to the availability of medical facilities, the nature of the medical facilities, the standard of hospitals, the quality of medical aid and all such issues that are necessary to determine appropriate medical attention to the public at large”.