On 1st September, Jammu & Kashmir High Court stressed that Government Doctors cannot be permitted to use their employees for private practice and commercial exploitation. The Chief Secretary of the Union Territory of Jammu& Kashmir was further asked to examine the issue by Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta.
The High Court said this while hearing the plea of the applicant which he had submitted to the Court stating that undue advantage is taken by several doctors and practitioners working in Government Hospitals as many facilities were closed but doctors were allowed to continue the private practice.
The main concern was related to working at the Government Dental College, Srinagar, and Associated Hospitals of Government Medical College, Srinagar in this application.
Initially, when some restrictions were imposed because of the COVID 19 pandemic, the functioning of public facilities in Government medical establishments was restricted by the Government. The applicant's Counsel highlighted an unfortunate aspect of the practice prevalent in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir whereby Government doctors were permitted to carry on with their private practice.
The Court was informed that this permission was used by medical practitioners to build large private practices by diverting patients from Government Hospitals to their private clinics.
It was also said that when facilities in Dental Hospital were closed and no procedures were being performed several doctors and petitioners employed in the hospital were carrying out all those procedures in their private clinics.
The Court said that, submission by the applicant was correct as it brings light on the adverse manner in which health services would be made available to patients seeking treatment in Government Hospitals and facilities. On 1st October the matter has been listed for further hearing. The case name is Azra Ismail v. Union of India and others.