The Gujarat government while defending itself in a civil application, seeking clarification on the Gujarat High Court (HC) order that had stated the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital was “as good as a dungeon…maybe even worst”, said its (Ahmedabad’s) Covid-19 situation was better than Italy and France which had populations comparable to Ahmedabad.
According to the state government’s s civil application moved on Monday in response to the critical HC order of May 22, “…the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases has been substantially slow in the state as compared to the said countries,” despite the latter having superior medical facilities. “Similarly, the number of deaths has been substantially less in Gujarat as compared to Italy and France,” the state government added.
The application moved by the government prayed before the court that it be “kind enough to clarify that the…observations” of HC, which were based on “the anonymous letter of the Resident Doctor and the anonymous report of the Medical Officer of the Civil Hospital, do not reflect the true picture of the ground realities.”
The high court in its May 22 order had observed that while patients being brought to the Civil Hospital and the SVP Hospital “are by and large from the same area, but, still, the mortality rate in the Civil Hospital is 13% as against 7% in the SVP Hospital. If we calculate weekly death, the Civil Hospital still contributes to the highest deaths in most of the week, during the last eight weeks.”
This comparison was drawn between April 25 and May 18.
The government told the court, “On an average in a week, 62% of critical patients are given admission and treated in the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, as against 6% being admitted in SVP Hospital, Paldi… In SVP Hospital, there are only 153 critical beds, out of 850 Covid beds, whereas in Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, there are as many as 496 critical beds, out of, in all, 1,200 Covid beds. This shows that the Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, admits proportionally more number of critical patients…as compared to SVP Hospital, automatically further increasing the fatality”.
“If the state authorities had been given opportunity to place on record the present day realities of the Civil Hospital, this Hon’ble Court would have had no occasion to observe as indicated in paras 48 and 49 (that contained the critical observations and reprimand based on the anonymous letter)”, the government said.
According to the government, Additional Medical Superintendents at the civil hospital, Dr.Rajanish Patel and Dr.Rakesh Joshi, hold motivational briefings for the staff on a daily basis, which include “guidance on how to take care of patients, benevolent behaviour and soft communication skills… Daily rituals of war cry “Harega Covid, Jitega Gujarat” (Covid will lose, Gujarat will win) are also carried out”.
With regard to the HC pulling up the three bureaucrats in charge of the civil hospital, Deputy Chief Minister and state Health Minister Nitin Patel and health Secretary Jayanti Ravi, the state government submitted that Patel had visited the hospital five times in the past two months and Principal Secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi had visited “as many as 20 times for various purposes for better administration of the Civil Hospital as a whole.”
The court expressed its satisfaction but added that the state should not hesitate to take stern action against officials not doing their duty.
“The state government boasts that the Civil Hospital at Ahmedabad is the biggest hospital in Asia, but, it should now strive very, very hard to make the same as one of the best hospitals in Asia,” the HC order added.
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