HYDERABAD: Lamenting that government hospitals, which used to be the choice of chief ministers and other dignitaries for treatment four decades ago, are not fit enough to perform that role today, the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday directed the state of Telangana to explain why the new Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) hospital in Bibinagar is still not operational even seven years after of completion of the building’s construction.
It wanted both AP and Telangana governments to give out details as to what steps they have taken for strengthening of public health care in their states.
The division bench comprising Justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice T Amarnath Goud gave these directions while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by journalist K Narender seeking regulation of private corporate health sector and strengthening of public health system in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The counsel for the petitioner cited various irregularities and corrupt practices adopted by private hospitals under Aarogyasri health scheme. For the sake of profit, young women are subjected to unnecessary operations for removal of uterus at private hospitals, it was alleged. He pointed out that in the counter affidavit filed by Vigilance Department of Telangana, it has been conceded that various corrupt practices and irregularities are being committed by private hospitals. He also cited the CAG report of 2015 which castigated the government for not making NIMS hospital operational even after seven years of the building’s completion at cost of ?125 crore.
The Telangana special government pleader S Sarat said that the government is willing to act to strengthen the public health system if the court so orders. The bench directed him to get the principal secretary, Health Department to file an affidavit explaining about the NIMS issue as well as about the steps taken for strengthening of public health careHe also directed AP government pleader to file a report and adjourned the case to March 21.