New Delhi: Anguished over non-functioning of two super-speciality hospitals ever since they were inaugurated eight years ago, the Delhi High Court has asked Delhi government whether it wanted to push the patients to private hospitals.
“Why do you (Delhi government) want it (hospital) to fail, so that the people are driven to private hospitals. You have facilities. Why do you not want to utilise them,” a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Yogesh Khanna said.
Taking a serious view that the hospitals were not able to achieve the goal for which it was built, the bench has summoned the directors of the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and the Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital here to appear and explain their failure to operate at full potential.
The court was surprised to find that despite being ready eight years ago, both hospitals do not have specialist doctors and the posts were lying vacant.
The bench asked the hospitals and the Delhi government to file an affidavit giving the break-up of the numbers of beds and doctors, sanctioned strength of staff and patients admitted till now.
“Give us the details with regard to number of beds being utilised in the last two years,” it said, adding that the authorities need to indicate the reasons for the vacant beds and the time period for which these have been lying vacant.
It also sought to know the expenditure details of the two hospitals to ascertain utilisation of the funds they have received from the government.
When the government and the authorities tried to pacify the court by claiming that the out-patient department (OPD) was running successfully at these hospitals, the court sought to know why in-house treatment of patients was not being done.
It pointed out that thousands of poor people wait for days outside All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) and other government and private hospitals here for treatment.
The bench directed the Delhi government to inform it about the special equipments they have purchased for the two institutions and indicate whether these were being used.
“Mention in the affidavit whether the equipments you have purchased were used even for one time or not,” the bench asked the counsel for Delhi government.
The court’s direction came during the hearing of a PIL filed by advocate Ramesh Chander, who highlighted that despite several chances to clearly indicate the number of sanctioned posts of doctors and their appointments, neither the government, nor the hospitals have filed their response.
The PIL filed in December 2014 complained that the two super-speciality hospitals built by Delhi government at a cost of over Rs 150 crore were still not ready to take in patients.
The 650-bed Rajiv Gandhi hospital in Northeast Delhi and 250-bed Janakpuri hospital in West Delhi have been repeatedly touted by successive state governments as an example of enhanced specialised healthcare facilities.
The PIL argued that despite these claims, not a single patient had been admitted in the hospitals and urged the court to issue directions.
Delhi government had initially planned to run them on public-private partnership model, but failed because the private players did not show interest, fearing that the revenue model was not profitable. Later, the government appointed directors at both the hospitals.