Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has sought a report about the working of two committees formed by government in 2012 to look into negligence and official misconduct by doctors and paramedics in the state.
“It is not made clear as to whether the constituted committees have taken initiative to look into the negligence/professional misconduct on part of the medicos and para-medicos nor it is shown as to whether any action has been taken against any such erring official,” a division bench of the court headed by Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed in the aftermath of large-scale infant deaths at GB Panth Hospital in 2012.
“The respondents shall notify the position of these two committees for the awareness so that the general public, when required, may contact the committees for redressal of grievances as may pertain to the negligence or professional misconduct of the medicos/paramedicos,” the bench said and directed the official respondents to file an affidavit, indicating therein as to whether the committees have received any complaint and as to whether any action has been taken thereon.
The bench, also comprising Justice Hasnain Massodi, directed the respondents to file the affidavit by or before next date of hearing in the PIL on May 26.
The panels were formed vide an order (no. 612-HME of 2012) on October 9, 2012 to fix responsibility on erring medicos.
One panel was formed for Associated Hospitals of Jammu and Srinagar Medical Colleges with respective Principal as its chairman and the Head of Department of the concerned specialty and administrator of associated hospitals as its members.
The second Committee was constituted for Health Department and comprises of the Director, Health Services of the concerned division as Chairman and its three members include Chief Medical Officers of the concerned District, concerned Medical Superintendent of District Hospital and Block Medical Officer of the Block.
The Committees were to be responsible for looking into the complaints made against the doctors and paramedical staff working in the hospitals under the respective jurisdiction of these panels within a maximum period of four weeks.
The panels were to recommend disciplinary action to the concerned competent authority wherever negligence or professional misconduct on the part of the medicos was proved.
The committees were formed following submissions by Advocate Farooqi, a US-based Kashmir lawyer that some semblance of system as prevailing in the Western World and American hospitals has to be placed in Jammu and Kashmir to avoid deaths due to medical negligence.
“It is not because we don’t have good doctors here. Some of the Kashmiri doctors even outshine their counterparts in US. The basic difference lies in accountability,” advocate Farooqi had said.
The court was hearing PIL filed by two social and child rights activists, Dr Rouf Mohi-ud-Din Malik and Tanveer Hussain Khan through Advocate Syed Faisal Qadri. Later separate PIL by US-based NRK advocate Mufti Showkat Farooqi through advocate Syed Reyaz Hussain were clubbed by the high court.