Wake up, make efforts: HC slams Haffkine Institute, Maha Govt for failing to procure drugs, equipment
Nagpur: Reprimanding the Haffkine Institute and Maharashtra government, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has asked them to wake up and make efforts to procure essential materials required for the pandemic like hand gloves to the several Government Medical College and Hospitals (GMCHs) in Vidarbha in view of COVID third wave hitting the state.
The bench comprising justices Sunil Shukre and Anil Pansare slammed them for failure to deliver important equipment and essential items, and asked to take efforts to arrange the items considering the arrival of the third wave of the pandemic in the state, reports the Times of India.
The court noted, "When the third wave of pandemic has already started and is getting intense every passing day, the Haffkine as well as the government's machinery have to wake up and make efforts in procuring all the requisite medicines and essential equipment, necessary for effectively combating the contagion."
The court was hearing a plea which pointed out the lack of basic facilities in GMCH's where the amicus curiae Anup Gilda stated that there is a crisis when it comes to the supply of essential medical equipment, articles and medicines
The bench observed, "Haffkine has been lagging behind the schedule and delay which has been caused in some cases has been of about two years. Therefore, the explanation now being submitted by it that on account of lesser attendance of its employees it could not complete the process for procurement of the requisite items cannot be accepted. "
The court directed the State Medical Education and Drugs Department secretary to deliver all the required essential medicines, equipment, gloves, IV Fluids and other gadgets, as demanded by all the GMCHs in Vidarbha, including two in the city and one each in Akola and Yavatmal, within a period of seven days.
Warning to take action, they said, "In case of failure, the secretary shall be required to personally attend this court for initiating necessary action in the matter,"
Considering the lack of fire fighting equipments in GMCH and IGGMCH, the court told the WD to begin and complete the installation process in a period of three months as the administrative approvals were recieved and funds were provided by the government.
The HC also asked the concerned committee to finish the technical evaluation of three bids received for the installation of the robotic surgery system at GMCH in the tender process within four weeks, and directed that it should be taken to it's logical end in the coming one month.
The additional government pleader Deepak Thakare had earlier stated that there was some deficit in supply of masks and surgical equipment, including gloves even though IV Fluids, as required by the GMCHs have been supplied by the Haffkine Institute.
Thakare cited the communication that he got from the parel based biomedical research, noting that it was unable to obtain the essential items earlier shortage of staff on account of the pandemic, but however has now rebegan the process.
The haffkine is the company from which the GMCH's procure the essential items.
Gilda stated that haffkine was being lethargic in clearing the pending dues of suppliers, due to which they stopped all supplies.Now this has affected the Vidarbha GMCH's who are facing a crisis of general surgical gadgets, IV fluids, hand gloves and other items.
He further added that poor patients are suffering due to the nonavailability of essential equipment and medicine.
He therefore sought the court to provide directions to the government and Haffkine for clearing pending dues in order to prevent the crunch of drugs and other surgical materials in the hospitals of the region.
According to the media report in Times of India, the High Court made the following observations:
- Covid-19 3rd already started & is getting intense every passing day
- Haffkine, govt must procure medicines & equipment for fighting virus
- Mumbai-based institute has been lagging behind schedule for delivery
- Delay caused in some cases has been of about two years
- Its explanation of staff shortage due to pandemic can't be accepted
- Govt must supply these items to Vidarbha's GMCHs in two weeks
- In case of failure, med secy to remain present in next hearing