Court also seeks to know what steps were taken to regularise contractual, outsourced employees
Telangana High Court on Wednesday instructed the State government to file an affidavit on the steps taken to fill up nearly 35,000 vacancies in Medical and Health department.
Expressing concern over the response of the State government to COVID-19 pandemic situation, a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed the direction to Health Secretary while hearing a batch of PIL pleas connected to COVID-19 issues. The bench also wanted Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao to file an affidavit on a gamut of subjects, including the details of sero surveillance connected to coronavirus conducted by the State government.
The bench observed that class IV employees in Medical and Health department (most of whom were reportedly appointed on contractual basis or outsourced) would have rendered committed services if they were regularised. “What steps had the government taken to regularise these contractual or outsourced employees,” the CJ sought to know from Mr. Srinivasa Rao.
Referring to teachers who had lost their lives due to COVID-19, the bench asked the government what financial assistance and benefits were extended to the families of teachers who died of the virus. The bench also wanted to know if the government had any strategy to help COVID-19 patients, who were discharged from hospitals, to improve their mental status having faced serious ailments.
Mr. Rao explained that the State government had put in place a system of health workers who would continuously monitor condition of persons affected by COVID-19. Even after being sent home from hospitals, these workers were going and meeting them to ascertain their condition, he told the bench.
Taking on record the status reports submitted by the DGP, Director General of Prisons and Public Health Director, the bench expressed concern over RT-PCR tests being far less compared to Rapid Antigen Tests conducted to diagnose coronavirus. The bench instructed Mr. Srinivasa Rao give details of the districts where incidence of COVID-19 pandemic was still high.
Mr. Rao explained to the court that though actions of cancelling licenses of private hospitals indulging in excessive bills were being taken, the law did not permit imposition of heavy fines on them. As per the Acts related to the subject, the fine amount prescribed were less. Changes had to be made to the provisions of the Act in this regard, he told the court.
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