Secretary delayed plan to outsource radiological services: Bharadwaj | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Secretary delayed plan to outsource radiological services: Bharadwaj

Feb 13, 2024 06:42 AM IST

The high court was hearing a plea dealing with the issue of lack of medical infrastructure in Delhi hospitals

Patients in city government hospitals are dying for want of functional CT scan or MRI machines, Delhi’s health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj told the Delhi high court on Monday, accusing the health department of delays in processing a state government proposal to outsource radiological services under a public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

Saurabh Bhardwaj (HT Archive)
Saurabh Bhardwaj (HT Archive)

The high court was hearing a plea dealing with the issue of lack of medical infrastructure in Delhi hospitals. Bharadwaj, in a status report filed on Monday, said that the Aam Aadmi Party government initiated the proposal in May 2022, but the health secretary failed to provide the status of the equipment. “It is important to inform the high court at this juncture that the file about this proposal was initiated 22 months back on 17.05.2022 in File No. F.52/PS/DGHS/Diagnostic/2022 bearing CD No. 112699488. It is needless to say that this file is going around for last 22 months and patients in Hospitals are dying for want of functional CT Scan/MRI machines,” the report said.

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“In the previous Status Report to high court dated 05.02.2024, the undersigned had explained that proposal for outsourcing radiological services under PPP mode is being processed by the Department. But when the undersigned vide U.O. Note dated 22.11.2023 requested the Secretary (Health) to provide the status of the proposal regarding outsourcing of radiological services under PPP mode, no status report was provided by Secretary (Health),” Bharadwaj added.

HT reached out to health secretary Deepak Kumar, but he did not respond to requests for comments on the development. Lieutenant governor VK Saxena’s office did not comment on the matter.

Bharadwaj filed the status report in the court days after Saxena wrote to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, expressing his “disappointment and concern” about the state of public health infrastructure in the Capital in a letter dated February 3, and seeking a “time bound response” and submission of a factual report about the sector.

Kejriwal, responding to Saxena in a communication dated February 4, laid the blame for the state of the health system on the health and finance secretaries, and asked Saxena to replace them both.

To be sure, the high court had on February 5 expressed its displeasure over the availability of only six CT scan machines in 19 hospitals catering to the Capital’s nearly 30 million population, and asked the Delhi government to ramp up public health infrastructure and bed capacity.

Bharadwaj, in his status report filed on Monday, accused the health secretary of filing affidavits regarding the Capital’s health infrastructure by bypassing his approval, with an attempt to “paint a rosy picture”.

The minister said that though he directed the health department to only file affidavits before the court with his written approval, they were instead being filed with the health secretary’s assent, and the issue of lack of infrastructure was never discussed with him.

“The Undersigned was never informed by the Department of Health or Secretary (Health) about any of the affidavits being submitted before this court in this matter. The undersigned had asked the Secretary (Health) to submit the true facts before the court with the approval of the undersigned. However, the undersigned was bypassed with an attempt to paint a rosy picture before the court,” Bharadwaj said.

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