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Prod to Centre on hospital order defiance

The high court on Wednesday directed the Centre to file an affidavit within a week to explain why faculty members and specialist doctors selected for Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS) did not join the trauma and emergency wards of Guru Govind Singh Hospital in Patna City.

The division bench of Prakash Chandra Verma and Justice Aditya Kumar Trivedi asked why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the central government responsible for not complying with the high court order.

The hospital in Patna City is attached to the JPNAIIMS. Till the latter’s building comes up, the super-speciality health hub will function from the 450-bed Guru Govind Singh Hospital.

Patna High Court in its order on July 18 had directed the selected professors, associate professors, assistant professors and specialist doctors in the faculty of emergency and trauma wards of JPNAIIMS to join the Patna City hospital by July 25. They had to start treating patients at the hospital from the next day, July 26.

The order followed a PIL filed by Council for Protection of Public Rights and Welfare seeking expeditious completion of the project, as the construction work was not completed within the stipulated time.

The doctors, however, have not joined the Guru Govind Singh Hospital. Wednesday’s directive came after the petitioner’s counsel, Brajesh Kumar, pointed out that the doctors have not complied with the high court’s earlier order.

The high court bench made it clear that the secretary of ministry of health and family welfare would have to personally appear before the court on the next date of hearing — August 1 — if he fails to file the affidavit in a week’s time.

Kumar submitted that all work related to the JPNAIIMS — from compliance of orders to construction work — was not satisfactory at all. The construction work at JPNAIIMS in Phulwarisharif is going on at a snail’s pace.

The Centre, through its counsel, Vinay Kumar Pandey, sought two weeks’ time to file its detailed reply in this regard but the court rejected the Centre’s plea and posted the matter for hearing on August 1.

The court said the matter would now be heard every week on Wednesday to closely monitor the case to make the JPNAIIMS fully operational.

Taking note that only a superintending engineer has been looking after the construction work at JPNAIIMS, the court directed the Centre to fill up all the engineering posts (of assistant and executive engineers) necessary for the construction.

The bench also directed the Bihar health department’s principal secretary to provide all the necessary facilities at the Guru Govind Singh Hospital to start treatment at its trauma and emergency wards.

It further directed the Patna senior superintendent of police to ensure smooth traffic on the roads leading to the hospital to ensure hassle-free movement for patients, so that they can reach the health hub without difficulty.


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