Fill vacancies in Govt. hospitals, HC asks Centre

Acute shortage of doctors and paramedical staffers in city hospitals, says plea

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the State Government to begin the process of recruitment of doctors and paramedical staff in Government-run hospitals in the Capital.

“You [authorities] start the recruitment process and appoint them. Show some speed. This is required,” said a Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while hearing a plea which claimed that there is an acute shortage of doctors and paramedics in Government-run hospitals in the city. “It is not necessary that all vacancies should be filled [if] you are not getting suitable candidates. Start the process. You can’t say that you will never start the process,” the Bench said.

Seeks response

The court also sought response from AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on the plea filed by Nand Kishore Garg, a social activist and former Delhi MLA.

The petition, represented by lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi, claimed that the situation of vacancy of the doctors and paramedical staffers in the Government run hospitals has been chronic as there are 30%-40% shortages.

The plea submitted that, “thousands of patients are being denied admission in the Government-run hospitals on account of lack of infrastructures and acute shortages of manpower and those patients are forced to create a debt or sell their assets to access healthcare from private hospitals by paying exorbitant cost of the treatment”.

“As per the RTI replies dated February 7, 2020, 1,838 doctors have been working in the health and welfare department of Delhi, while 745 posts of doctors were lying vacant and as per the RTI reply dated November 2, 2021, Government hospital like Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, the sanctioned strength of paramedical officials is 475, of which 135 post are vacant,” the petition said.

“[RTI] discloses more than 800 vacancies of doctors in different categories and are lying vacant in AIIMS alone, while in another hospital of the Central Government, Safdarjung is having shortages of 433 doctors and 67 paramedical staffs. Further another hospital namely Ram Manohar Lohia, there are vacancies of more than 100 doctors and paramedical staffers,” the plea said.

The petition submitted that inadequate infrastructure in the government hospitals is “becoming ominous” because of serious diseases like COVID-19 and other communicable life-threatening ailments.

The High Court will hear the case again on January 12.

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