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North DMC for Handing Over 6 Hospitals to Centre Due to Financial Issues, Delhi Govt Tells HC

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PTI

Last Updated: June 08, 2021, 15:08 IST

New Delhi

File photo of the Delhi High court.

File photo of the Delhi High court.

The Delhi government said that if the Centre is not ready to take over the hospitals, the AAP government would be willing to run the institutions considering the fact that health is a State Subject.

The Delhi government has claimed in the Delhi High Court that the North DMC has been advocating that its six hospitals be handed over to the Centre to reduce the annual expenditure incurred by the civic body which is facing financial constraints. It further said that if the Centre is not ready to take over the hospitals, the AAP government would be willing to run the institutions considering the fact that health is a State Subject.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North DMC) submitted however that it was an internal communication from the civic body’s commissioner to the municipal secretary and it was not clear as to whether the corporation has passed any resolution in this regard and a status report will be filed in the court. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh was told by advocate Divya Prakash pande for North DMC that he will file a report disclosing the present status of this proposal and also disclose the expenditures being incurred by the civic body in running these six hospitals and medical college presently. The court, in its June 4 order, said that in case the central government has received any such proposal from the civic body for taking over of the six hospitals and a medical college, it shall file a report on the status of the proposal which will be considered on July 8.

The court was informed by the Delhi government about a February 2018 communication sent by the North DMC commissioner to the its municipal secretary relating to consolidated expenditure incurred in the years 2014 to 17 in running the six hospitals — Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, R.B.I.PMT Hospital, Girdhari Lal Hospital, M.V.I.D. Hospital and Balak Ram Hospital. The Delhi government said in its status report that the communication advocates these hospitals be handed over to the Centre to reduce the annual expenditure of Rs 500/600 crore incurred by the North DMC on hospitals and medical college.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, said the reason for bringing this communication before the court is that this bench is considering various aspects relating to COVID-19 management. He added that one of the aspects which this court has dealt with, particularly in the second wave of the pandemic, is the shortcomings in the medical infrastructure in the national capital.

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He said since the North DMC is presently in financial stringency, these hospitals and medical college are facing difficulty in day to day management and further development of these institutions, considering the large parcels of land with some of them, is not taking place. He also said the proposal contained in the letter should be considered by the Centre and in case it is not ready to take over, the Delhi government would be willing to take over the institutions considering the fact that health is a State Subject.

He said the North DMC’s communication itself pointed out that, in the past also, organisations such as Fire Brigade, Delhi Vidhyut Board and Delhi Jal Board have been taken over by the Delhi government from the municipal corporations.

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