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Health Facilities in UP are ‘Ram Bharose’, Says Allahabad High Court

The scathing observation of the Allahabad High Court came after a woman brick kiln labourer, who was traumatized and neglected in the primary health centre, approached the court alleging violation of fundamental rights, including the Right to life.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:March 14, 2018, 2:01 PM IST
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Health Facilities in UP are ‘Ram Bharose’, Says Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court. (File photo News18.com)
New Delhi: Days after a Jhansi man was made to lie on his severed limb in UP hospital, the Allahabad high court said in a verdict that the medical services in the state was “Ram Bharose” and depends on “destiny and fate”.

The scathing observation of the Allahabad High Court came after a woman brick kiln labourer, who was traumatized and neglected in the primary health centre, approached the court alleging violation of fundamental rights, including the Right to life.

Snehalata Singh was suffering from obstetric fistula. However, the primary health care centres sent her back home without treatment for fistula leaving her to face incontinence of urine and faeces.

The petitioner was admitted in Purkanji Public Health Centre on February 13, 2007 for delivery. However, soon after her delivery she was discharged. She was made to leave the PHC with fistula (a condition which occurs if a woman’s labour becomes obstructed and creates a hole between the bladder or the urethra and the rectum due to the constant pressure of the foetus, which renders her incontinent).

Though, she was referred from one hospital to another, her condition remained untreated till May 2007. A hospital in Muzaffarnagar Hospital diagnosed her with a Urethra- Vaginal Fistula but failed to provide her with any services due to paucity of funds.

It was only in February 2008 that the petitioner was finally operated upon at Lucknow’s King George’s Medical College and the catheters were removed after a month.

Commenting on the “pathetic” condition of health care in the state, Justices Sudhir Agarwal and Ajit Kumar stated, “If in one word we have to describe State Medical Services, it is quite apt to use the word for its functioning on its destiny and fate – Ram Bharose (Dependent on God).”

The court has also noted that there is a visible gap between the allocation of funds for these public health care centres and the ground reality.

“Though huge funds are spent in the name of welfare medical services undertaken by State but fact is that those services are not available to real needy people but swelling pockets of those who are supposed to serve.”

The court directed the CAG to establish a specialized audit team, which, in different phases and period, will audit medical colleges and hospitals within a year’s time and look at the pattern of fund utilisation, deficiencies and illegalities so that swift action can be taken against responsible authorities.

Further, taking note of the behaviour of government employees ‘who frequently avail better private medical services and claim reimbursement from the state exchequer’, the court said that “no special VIP treatment” would be given to anyone, including high-level officials, political executives and dignitaries, and asked them to avail medical services from government hospitals like every other citizen.

This incident comes close on the heels of the tragedy that struck Uttar Pradesh recently, where nearly 60 children lost life in a Gorakhpur hospital after oxygen supply was terminated due to payment issues with the hospital.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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