SRINAGAR: While disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL) on the premiere children’s hospital, G B Pant, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the state government to enhance medical facilities across all government-run hospitals and take appropriate steps for decreasing the infant mortality rate.
Observing that the infant mortality rate graph has by and large come down, the court also said that facilities provided at hospitals are showing some improvements. So, “the PIL stands disposed of, but the petitioners are at liberty to move court if there is no improvement with the facilities”, the court said.
The division bench comprising Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said that the government has to provide the best care facilities to all citizens, including to orphans, the physically challenged and the destitute. “As held by the Supreme Court, providing best health care is the obligation of a welfare state,” the bench said.
Additional Advocate General Mohammad Iqbal Dar, representing the G B Pant Hospital administration, submitted that there has been a decline in the mortality rate of infants. He said, “If there is any lapse in providing the best facilities to patients, the Health Secretary has to take a call on the short comings in the department.”
Meanwhile, the defence counsel informed the court that facilities are not up to the mark and are not properly maintained. He stressed that hospital infrastructure is not properly used, apart from life-saving equipments are lying defunct.
The court said that “health department should take proper steps so that the infrastructure is put to proper use and doesn’t lie malfunctioned at the hour of need”.
The disposed-of PIL was regarding the state’s health-care facilities, particularly at the government paediatric hospital.