North body wants its six hospitals to be taken over by Centre: Delhi govt. to HC

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‘State govt. willing to take charge if Modi govt. uninterested’

The Delhi government has told the High Court that North body has been advocating that its six hospitals be handed over to the Centre to reduce the annual expenditure incurred by the civic body, which is facing financial constraints.

The six hospitals are Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, R.B.I.PMT Hospital, Girdhari Lal Hospital, M.V.I.D. Hospital and Balak Ram Hospital.

The Delhi government, represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra, said that in February 2018, a communication was sent by the North municipal commissioner to its Municipal Secretary. The communication sets out the consolidated expenditure incurred in running the said hospitals in the years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, and advocates that these hospitals be handed over to the Central government so as to reduce the annual expenditure incurred by it to the tune of about ₹500-600 crore.

“In case, the Centre is not willing to take them over, the GNCTD would be willing to take over the said hospitals and medical college, considering the fact that health is a State Subject,” Mr. Mehra said.

Mr. Mehra further said that this communication itself points out that, in the past as well, organisations such as Fire Brigade, Delhi Vidhyut Board, Delhi Jal Board have been taken over by the Delhi government from the municipal corporations.

The North body’s counsel said that it was an internal communication from the Commissioner to the Municipal Secretary and it was not clear as to whether the civic body passed any resolution in terms of the communication.

An HC Bench directed the North body to submit a status report by July 8, the next date of hearing. “In case the Central government is in receipt of such a proposal for taking over of the six hospitals and medical college, the Centre shall place the status of the said proposal before the court,” the High Court added.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions related to COVID-19 situation in the Capital.

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This article was originally published on The Hindu