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Allahabad High Court directs UP govt to prepare SOPs on management, security of hospitals in state within a week

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The Allahabad High Court has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not having SOPs/plan regarding proper administration, management and security of hospitals in the state, and directed the state Additional Chief Secretary of Medical Health and Family Welfare to prepare the same within a week.

The Division Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Piyush Agrawal passed this order on August 27, while hearing a Habeas Corpus petition filed by Rahul Yadav.

Earlier on August 19, the Court had directed the state government to trace the corpus and place the report before this Bench, however, since the government failed to trace the patient, the Court granted it one more week for the same.

The Court directed the DIG/SSP Prayagraj to comply with the order of the Additional Chief Secretary Home and Compliance report as well as the report of SIT so constituted to be submitted before the next date of hearing, which is September 10.

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In the affidavit the Additional Chief Secretary, Home stated that DIG/SSP, Prayagraj has been directed to constitute an S.I.T. under the guidance and supervision of an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police and the S.I.T. so constituted shall submit its report to the Government within seven days.

“Considering the SOPs as well as the plan prepared by the Chief Medical Superintendent, TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj and also the stand taken by the State Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare, we are constrained to observe that either the state government has not yet prepared uniform SOPs for District Hospitals in Uttar Pradesh including T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj or deliberately the same has not been brought on record. It is unbelievable that the state government, which is running a large number of hospitals, would not have any uniform SOPs or plan for appropriate administration, management and security of hospitals,” the Court observed.

The Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare, is directed to file a personal affidavit on or before the next date fixed annexing therewith details of SOPs/Plan prepared by the State Government for all levels of Hospitals, including District hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres, ordered the Court.

He shall also clearly state in his affidavit as to whether SOPs / Plan as prepared by the State Government, is being strictly implemented at all the hospitals and if not then within what period, it shall be fully implemented, added the Bench.

The Court said that the Director General, Medical Health shall file their personal affidavits clearly stating therein the standards and norms of infrastructure, medical equipment as well as other equipment, security and safety measures prescribed by the state government for District Hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres, Moti Lal Nehru Medical College and SRN Hospital Prayagraj, as well as the existing facilities available.

The information shall be given in a tabulated form. The last column of the chart shall indicate the shortage/deficit, including shortage/deficit of man power, it added.

The Bench noted that from perusal of the affidavit of the Chief Medical Superintendent, Tej Bahadur Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, it appears that intimation was given by the Ward Boy or some other staff to the Chowki In-charge, T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj on May 8, 2021.

As per the personal affidavit filed by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj, the Chowki In-charge enquired and found that CCTV cameras of Trauma Centre were not functional and thus, CCTV footage could not be obtained.

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On one hand in his personal affidavit, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj has taken a stand that CCTV cameras were not functional but on other hand, the Chief Medical Superintendent, TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj has taken the stand on the basis of a report of “Data Operator dated May 17, 2021” that storage capacity of CCTV cameras installed at TB Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, is only for four days and as such it is not possible to give the CCTV footage/recording after the lapse of such a long period.

Thus, on perusal of the affidavits of Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj as well as Chief Medical Superintendent, T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, prima facie, it appears that the entire hospital as well as the police authorities were negligent and committed dereliction in their duties in the matter of tracing the corpus Ram Lal Yadav, the Court said.

“From perusal of the affidavit of Chief Medical Superintendent, T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, it also appears that Doctors as well as the staff of the hospital were well aware of the incident of missing the corpus since the morning of May 8, 2021. They were so careless and irresponsible that they even have not taken any effective steps in discharge of their duties.

“Even subsequent action shown to have been taken, appears to be an eye wash. Merely three contractual/out-sourced employees – Ashish Srivastav, Vikas Patel and Vinay Kumar have been dis-engaged. The C.M.S., T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj recommended to suspend a Staff of the Hospital namely Pooja on May 28, 2021 but for the reasons best known to the Director General, Medical Health, no action has been taken, despite the reminders sent by the Chief Medical Superintendent dated June 15, 2021,” it added.

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The Court stated that it shows irresponsible and negligent attitude of the authorities, including the Director General of Medical Health.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, we direct that appropriate corrective measures be immediately taken by the respondents, so as to ensure improvement in working of the Hospitals, security and safety measures. This should be in reality and not as a part of paper work.

“We also direct the Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare that while filing his personal affidavit on the next date, he shall also clearly state the complete plan for periodical audit of all important and life saving medical equipment, including safety and security equipment in all Government Hospitals and dispensaries in the state of Uttar Pradesh,” the order said.

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