Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday asked the Chief Secretary of J&K Government to examine the issue of doctors in government-run hospitals diverting patients to their private clinics.
It was recorded by the court that government doctors cannot be permitted to use their employment and public facilities for building private practices and commercial exploitation.
The court noted that permitting private practice to government doctors and employees deserves to be seriously re-examined.
The court said this while hearing an application moved by Advocate Shafqat Nazir on the working of the Government Dental College, Srinagar, and Associated Hospitals of Government Medical College, Srinagar.
It was informed by the counsel that initially when restrictions on account of the Covid-19 pandemic had to be imposed, the Government had restricted the functioning of public facilities in Government medical establishments. However, over a period of time, there has been slow opening of these facilities.
It was submitted that several doctors and practitioners working in Government Hospitals have taken undue advantage of the restrictions imposed by the Government and several doctors are carrying out procedures in their private clinics.
Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta said, “Attending to lucrative private practices has to resultantly diminish and detract from the attention which a professional would pay to his salaried public position as a government doctor.”
The court remarked that judicial notice can be taken of the fact that employment opportunities in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are by far, extremely few.
The court said, “Large numbers of people without financial resources and health facilities are either not available or insufficient. Such practices as complained by the applicant need to be urgently brought to a halt.”
The court directed that a copy of the application and observations made in the order be served upon the Chief Secretary of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that the above issue is examined.
“The competent authorities shall examine the practices which are prevailing in other States and Union Territories on this aspect, of course, after taking into account the limitations on medical facilities available in the Union Territory of the Jammu & Kashmir,” the Court directed.
The court will again hear the matter on 1 October.