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Excess Primary Healthcare Centres Established In State In Terms Of Population Ratio: State Tells Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
13 Dec 2021 6:49 AM GMT
Excess Primary Healthcare Centres Established In State In Terms Of Population Ratio: State Tells Karnataka High Court
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There are around 822 PHCs in excess in terms of population ratio, the state government said.

The Karnataka Government has informed the High Court that an excess of 822 Public Health Centres (PHC) have been established in terms of the population ratio in the state. The statement was made in a compliance report filed in response to the Public Interest Litigation filed by one Gurunath Vadde seeking to start a hospital at the gram panchayat level.It was submitted that 2,359 PHCs...

The Karnataka Government has informed the High Court that an excess of 822 Public Health Centres (PHC) have been established in terms of the population ratio in the state.

The statement was made in a compliance report filed in response to the Public Interest Litigation filed by one Gurunath Vadde seeking to start a hospital at the gram panchayat level.

It was submitted that 2,359 PHCs have been established till now and the government has undertaken to upgrade the PHC's to Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS). As per the budget of 2021-22, it is proposed to establish 250 model PHC's this year.

In this backdrop, a division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum observed, "The apprehension of the petitioner that there are lesser PHC's and the rural population is deprived of healthcare system cannot be acceded to."

The State had further assured the Court that:

(i) Government will provide suitable site and Government buildings for PHCS that are being run in rented buildings;

(ii) Dilapidated buildings will be repaired as soon as possible by following the necessary provisions of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act, if applicable and/or new buildings will be constructed;

(iii) AYUSH Services are not integrated in all PHCS. However, these services will be provided in a phased manner;

(iv) All PHCs provide essential OPD services. PHCs provide only primary healthcare services. However, in 24/7 PHCs maternal healthcare services are provided throughout the day and 24/7;

(v) Covid patients require specialized treatment, Specialist care, Laboratory investigations and in some cases ventilatory support. Such patients are being treated at Taluk and District hospitals only. Screening, follow up treatment, vaccinations and control measures are being provided at all PHCS.

It may be noted that by an earlier order the court had directed the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority to verify the conditions of the PHC's by visiting on a random basis. In its report, the authority had pointed to several deficiencies in infrastructure in PHCs.

The petitioner argued that at least in existing PHC's the state government is bound to provide infrastructure and maintain quality but the state government has failed to do so.

Accordingly, the Court directed the state government to strictly implement the recommendations of KSLSA  and upgrade the infrastructure, and disposed of the petition.

Case Title: Gurunath Vadde v. State of Karnataka

Case No: WP 9700/2021

Date of Order: December 8, 2021

Appearance: Advocate Srinivas V, for petitioner; Advocate Vani H, for respondents.

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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