ALLAHABAD: Concerned with the pathetic condition of government hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court on Friday ordered their special CAG audit. The order has come around the time when a horrific incident of the Jhansi hospital hit national and international headlines.
The High Court also directed the state government to ensure that all government officials and employees should avail medical care services only from government hospitals if required facilities and care are available there.
The bench comprised Justices Sudhir Agarwal and Ajit Kumar.
The court had got a sample survey conducted through Advocate Commissioners. The survey demonstrated a large number of apparent mismanagement in hospitals.
“Special Audit through CAG should be got conducted without any further delay. In this regard, we direct requisite number of Specialized Audit Team having expertise in audit of medical care centres be constituted with request to CAB, within one month from the communication of this Judgment,” ordered the court.
The High Court has also set audit priority for different categories of hospitals.
“At first instance, Medical Colleges and Hospitals attached to them should be got audited. This audit must be completed within two months. This Special Audit must examine funds made available, their utilization etc. in the last 10 years. If deficiencies, irregularities and illegalities are found, concerned department shall also identify erring officials and would take appropriate stern action whether civil, criminal or departmental, as the case may be, without further delay,” ordered the court.
In the next phase, audit should be that of District level Hospitals, for which also, complete exercise would be done within two months, and they will be followed by Special Audits of lower level Medical Care Centres i.e. CHCs and PHCs.
The Court passed the order after hearing two petitions – one was filed by a woman laborer who had pleaded for improvement in the miserable conditions at hospitals in the state; the second petition was filed by a social worker and journalist who had sought a direction to the authorities to make it mandatory for all District Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes to display qualifications and designation of all para-medical staff.
The High Court order has come around the time when incidents of medical negligence are coming to light on regular interval. On Saturday (10 March 2018), a horrific display of insensitivity was witnessed at the Jhansi Medical College where a school bus conductor who lost his left leg in an accident was made to lie on a stretcher with his severed limb placed under his head. As the video of the horrific incident went viral, the state government ordered a probe. Later, it ordered suspension of emergency medical officer Dr. Mahendra Pal Singh, senior resident Dr Alok Agarwal and sisters on duty Deepa Narang and Shashi Srivastava.
Last year, the Gorakhpur government hospital had hit headlines as hundreds of children were reported to have died of lack of oxygen supply.