The Gujarat High Court has expressed dismay over the recent number of deaths at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad. While hearing a suo motu PIL on coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, the Court termed the conditions at the hospital “pathetic” and “as good as a dungeon or may be worse”. Till Friday, total 377 COVID-19 patients died at the hospital.
As per a PTI report, a division bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and IJ Vora came down hard on the state government on conditions prevailing in Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital, and said it was “distressing and painful”.
“It is very distressing and painful to note that the condition prevailing, as on date, in the Civil Hospital, is pathetic… We are very sorry to state that the Civil Hospital Ahmedabad, as on date, appears to be in an extremely bad shape” the court observed.
“As we said earlier that the Civil Hospital is meant to treat the patients. However, it appears that as on date, it is as good as a dungeon. May be even worse than a dungeon. Unfortunately, the poor and helpless patients have no option,” it said.
The HC issued a host of directions to the state government to improve conditions for treatment of patients at Asia’s largest hospital.
The court also asked if the state health minister and senior health department officials had any idea what was going on at the hospital.
“Does the health minister of the state of Gujarat have any idea about the problems which patients, doctors, nursing staff and other employees are facing as on date? How many times the health minister has interacted with the medical officers and other staff members in person so as to understand their difficulties and problems?” it said.
“Is the state government aware of the hard fact that the patients at the Civil Hospital are dying because of lack of adequate number of ventilators? How does the state government propose to tackle this problem of ventilators?” the court further asked.
The HC directed the state government to “immediately transfer” non-performing doctors and bring in senior and experienced doctors from other hospitals “who are ready and willing to render better services in the Civil Hospital”.
It sought improvement in the working conditions of resident doctors and fix accountability of senior officers “who have failed to improve health care in the Civil Hospital leading to massive loss of human lives”.