Due to the recent amendment in the GNCTD Act, Health Department officials did not share any information with the office of the Delhi health minister on whether any action had been initiated in the issue of implants at the Delhi government-run Sushruta Trauma Centre, the office of the health minister has said.
“Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), GNCTD, was directed to provide a detailed report by September 21 regarding availability and shortage of orthopaedic implants in all Delhi government hospitals. However, the same was not provided by the Secretary till date,” the office of the Delhi Health Minister, Saurabh Bharadwaj, said.
It further stated that the Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), was also directed to conduct a vigilance inquiry into the issue of non-availability of orthopaedic implants in government hospitals and the report to be submitted within three weeks. “However, due to the recent amendment in the GNCTD Act, this action too was either not initiated by the department or if initiated, no information was sent,” said the minister’s office.
The office stated that in April, long before the issue of orthopaedic implants was raised by the media, an expert committee comprising members with domain expertise and past experience in preparing technical specifications of the devices was constituted on the directions of Bharadwaj. The job of the panel was to develop or formulate technical specifications of all orthopaedic implants used in Delhi government hospitals, the office further noted.
“This issue of non-availability of orthopaedic implants was reiterated by the health minister at one-to-one meetings held with the medical superintendents of Delhi government hospitals. The medical superintendents of secondary care hospitals suggested that a single tender, based on the specifications formulated by the Expert Committee in April, 2023, may be floated for all hospitals having 350 beds or less,” it said.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023, which came into force in August, bolsters the Centre’s control over the administration of Delhi through the Lieutenant Governor, giving the latter “sole discretion” to act in matters that fall out of the ambit of the Delhi Legislative Assembly.