A high court bench of Justice Siddharth Verma and Justice Ajit Kumar made some keen observations while taking into the account the death of Santosh Kumar, who was reported “missing” from Meerut District Hospital on April 21 by relatives as his body was disposed of by authorities as unidentified.
The court had earlier sought a report on this matter and on 17th of this month, it noted that it was a case of “high degree carelessness” on the part of the doctors who were on duty at the time.
The bench asked the State government for stringent action against those responsible and directed it to compensate the dependents who suffered “the irreparable loss”.
Taking the gruesome case into account, the court said the people of the state, especially smaller cities and villages have been left ‘Ram Bharose,’ which means at the mercy of gods and remarked that the health infrastructure in districts were inadequate.
We have no hesitation in observing that health infrastructure is absolutely insufficient in city areas to meet the requirements of the city population and in the rural areas the community health centres are virtually lacking in respect of life-saving gadgets, the court added.
The court has also directed the state government to take steps to improve the medical infrastructure in hospitals in the state within four months and to develop five medical colleges (Prayagraj, Agra, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, and Meerut) as Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI) level institutions. Every second and third tier town of UP should be provided with at least 20 ambulances and every village should be provided with at least 2 ambulances having ICU facilities, the court added.
This comes after the alarming rise in deaths after the conduction of panchayat elections and the sight of dead bodies floating in the River Ganga which grabbed many eyeballs.
In any case, many states governments have been pulled up by their respective high courts, in the last few months, on many critical issues related to the healthcare of their states and have shown them the mirror. Hope the directions from the courts are religiously worshipped by the state governments for the welfare of its citizens.