State govt responsible for issues related to public health, hospitals: Bombay HC

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Aurangabad (Maharashtra) [India], May 29 (ANI): Underlining that public health and hospitals are "state subject", the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday said the state government is answerable for issues related to public health and hospitals.

The High Court's observations came while it was hearing a suo moto petition about COVID-19 treatment and management in Aurangabad.

It was brought to the notice of the Bench that 113 ventilators given to Aurangabad Medical College and Hospital by the Union Health Ministry were not in working condition due to several reasons.

Slamming the Centre for not facilitating between states and ventilators manufacturing companies, the Bench noted that the Central government should facilitate between the manufacturing company and the hospital so that these machines can be used during the tough times of the pandemic.

Hospitals were unable to get them (ventilators) to function again because suppliers were not cooperating for maintenance, the High Court observed in its order.

A team of doctors from Aurangabad Medical College also put a report before the High Court in this regard.

The Bench underlined that public health and hospitals are "state subject" and according to Article 162 (2) of the Constitution of India health and hospitals are listed at serial number 6 for "state subjects" and all constitutional and executive powers in this regard are with the state government so a state is "answerable" for the issues related to public health and hospitals.

Questioning the state government's role, the High Court said all the executive and constitutional powers about public health and hospitals are with the state government so they must ensure that machines supplied to the hospitals are in working condition.

If there are any problems, the state should act to get that problem rectified, the Bench asserted.

During the course of the hearing, ASGI Ajay G Talhar, appearing for the Central Government, told the High court that these ventilators were not provided by the Central government under the PM CARES fund but were given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The ASG also raised a question over the technical knowledge and efficiency of the hospital staff in operating the ventilators.

To this, the Bench took serious objection and said that instead of a blame game, the Central government should facilitate between the manufacturer company and the hospital.

The court has adjourned the matter till June 2 and has instructed ASGI Talhar that the manufacturer company should be contacted and made to rectify any fault with these machines as soon as possible. (ANI)