The Meghalaya High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to come up with a detailed road map to augment the healthcare facilities in the state by mid-November, this year.
“It is hoped that by mid-November, 2022, a detailed plan would be available, including how to treat terminally ill patients and patients suffering from other serious diseases, even in the immediate short-term,” the division bench said in its order passed after hearing a suo-motu PIL on the issue.
It said at the highest, the court can receive complaints and may require these matters to be brought to the notice of the executive; but in matters pertaining to medical facilities, the court does not have the expertise to issue any directions, particularly in the wake of the state forever citing funds crunch as an impediment to setting up adequate healthcare facilities in the state.
It was also pointed out on behalf of the petitioner and interveners seeking to highlight the extent of deficiency in the healthcare facilities in the state that several areas not so far even from the district headquarters do not have adequate access facilities or any form of the road for patients to avail the healthcare services even at the district headquarters or the sub-divisional outposts.
The order said though the state said that an MoU is proposed to be entered into with Tamil Nadu for doctors in the state to obtain training in specialised areas from doctors in Tamil Nadu, there is no indication by the state as to the immediate measures to be undertaken to augment the healthcare services or to provide adequate relief to those suffering from pain in the State.
The state said that discussions have been initiated on several fronts and high-level officials are visiting far-flung areas in the state in an attempt to assess connectivity and access to healthcare facilities and a somewhat detailed road map may be ready by mid-November, 2022 for the augmentation of services. This is a specialised area.
The next hearing will be held on November 16.