Deplorable health infra: NHRC issues notices to Health Ministry, States, UTs

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognizance of reports of loss of human lives due to deficiencies and inadequacies in the healthcare system.
The Commission has observed that a large number of deaths of the innocent people including women, children and elderly persons are taking place due to lack of proper medical care, infrastructure, manpower and due to administrative failure, across the country.
Apart from the death of 143 children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), the Commission has recounted the loss of lives in Gorakhpur due to Japanese Encephalitis, death of newly born infants and other patients due to failure of oxygen supply, carrying of dead bodies by family members on their shoulders because of non-availability of ambulances, incidents of delivery of babies in front of the hospitals due to negligence and non-availability of doctors.
Quoting the Supreme Court of India, the Commission has observed that right to live with human dignity is part of Right to Life.The Commission issued a notice to the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to submit a comprehensive report within four weeks on the observations made by it.
The Commission also issued notices to Chief Secretary of all states and union territories (UTs) to submit reports within six weeks giving details of incidents relating to deaths due to lack of healthcare facilities that have taken place during last three years and steps taken by them to prevent their recurrence.
The Commission has also directed that teams comprising doctors on the panel of the Commission along with the officers of the Commission will visit hospitals, primary health centres and other health facilities in vulnerable States one by one starting with Bihar, U.P., Haryana and Punjab to conduct an on-the-spot fact-finding investigation.
The teams will also take stock of the ground situation especially in vulnerable areas with regard to difficulties being faced by the people and shortcomings on the part of the respective State Government/Central agencies. The Commission finally intends to issue suitable guidelines for implementation by the State/Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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