Published On : Sat, Jul 3rd, 2021

HC orders Haffkine to install MRI at Nagpur’s GMCH within 3 months

State Govt also directed to equip GMCH, Mayo with fire safety measures

Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court

Nagpur: Anguished over inordinate and unjustified delay in procuring a new MRI machine at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Nagpur, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court pulled up Haffkine Institute and directed it to complete the tender process and deliver the machine within three months.

The GMCH had deposited a sum of Rs 15 crore with Haffkine in October 2019, since the existing MRI machine was not functional for the last 18 months. A division bench consisting of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Anil Kilor expressed surprise over this delay and observed that Haffkine Institute had not done enough for the patients of Vidarbha region by expeditiously procuring MRI machines, and rapped it for putting forth some lame excuse to justify this long delay.

In his note, Amicus Curiae Anup Gilda revealed about nonfunctional MRI machine at GMCH due to which emergency patients were being referred to Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital, popularly known as Mayo Hospital, which is already an overburdened healthcare facility. Absence of a functional MRI machine has brought all body scans to a halt for the patients.

About the lack of fire safety measures at GMCH and IGGMC, the GMCH informed the court that it had submitted a proposal of Rs 20.04 crore on June 25 this year to Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to install fire safety equipment and take measures to ensure safety of patients, doctors and other staff. About IGGMC, a proposal costing Rs 7.27 crore was sent to DMER on June 24. The State Government claimed that another fire audit by the National Safety Council was underway to find out lacunae.

The High Court noted that the fire audit conducted at GMC by Nagpur Municipal Corporation in 2013, 2016, and February 2021 had highlighted absence of adequate fire prevention measures and recommended immediate steps to rule out any untoward incident. Instead of waiting for another report, which is welcome, the State and GMCH should go ahead with fire safety measures to rule out any untoward incident in these premier healthcare facilities, the High Court directed and asked DMER to sanction Rs 20.04 crore for GMCH and Rs 7.27 crore to IGGMC within four weeks.

Adv Anup J Gilda (Amicus), Additional GP Dipak Thakre (State), and Adv Sudhir Puranik (NMC) represented the respondents.