The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to undertake steps to improve the infrastructure in hospitals run by it in the national capital.
The Centre’s lawyer told the court, which was hearing pleas concerning the safety of medical professionals and the state of healthcare institutions, that it has taken “all precautions and steps” for its four hospitals here, including AIIMS.
“There is always a chance of improvement,” the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said.
“Union of India is directed to undertake an exercise with regard to the improvement of infrastructure in its own hospitals,” it ordered.
The bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna, directed the Delhi government to file a report with respect to the steps taken by it pursuant to a report given by an expert committee in 2019 on its hospitals.
The Delhi government counsel said the report, which dealt with issues pertaining to hospital administration, human resource management etc, was yet to be considered by the high court.
“This court directs GNCTD to file an action taken report clearly stating whether recommendations of the expert committee report are feasible and they have been implemented,” the court ordered.
In 2017, the high court had taken cognisance of a news report on increasing violent attacks on government doctors by patients and their relatives and asked the Centre and the AAP government to apprise it about the steps taken.
Senior advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, the amicus curiae appointed to assist the court, Tuesday said that the genesis of the issue of threats to medical professionals was the shortage of doctors and lack of infrastructural support in hospitals.
He also said that during the pendency of the proceedings, the Delhi government has enacted a law for the protection of doctors but “it has made it worse” by diluting the penal provisions under the Indian Penal Code.
During the hearing, concerns were also raised with respect to alleged vacancies in government hospitals.
The court suggested directing a meeting of all the stakeholders, including officials of the Delhi government and Centre, to deal with the issues concerning hospital administration.
The court asked the Delhi government and the Centre to file their responses in the matter.
The matter would be listed next on March 13.