Meghalaya High Court : The Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, CJ. and W. Diengdoh, J. took cognizance of a petition in relation to the current health-care system.
The State mentions the project funded by the World Bank in association with the Ministry of External Affairs that could see a sum of Rs. 371 crore invested in the State over a period of five years to augment the health-care system acknowledging that a lot more needs to be done to improve the health-care system. A report was brought on record revealing that smoking and drinking is the highest in the country in the North-East. Yet, there is no dedicated cancer hospital in the State. Though a cancer unit has been set up at the Civil Hospital in Shillong but it still does not have adequate equipment. It was pointed out that there are no facilities for conducting biopsy in the State however the State controverts saying that two units have been set up recently in Tura and in Shillong which are capable of cancer diagnosis.
The Court agreed that a lot more needs to be done to improve the health-care facilities in the State and it is just not acceptable that after 75 years of independence the facilities would be as primitive as they are now. There is no doubt that funds are essential, but the lack of funds cannot be an excuse to perpetuate the lack of rudimentary medical facilities.
There has to be an almost revolutionary improvement in the facilities to bring it at par with what is generally available in the rest of the country. Funds have to be found and extraordinary attempts have to be made for such purpose.
The Court also believed that apart from better facilities being created, awareness drives need to be undertaken, particularly in the rural areas so that certain common bad practices are eradicated in due course.
The matter is to be taken up on 13-07-2022.
[In Re suo motu cognizance of deficiencies in health services in the State of Meghalaya v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Megh 507, order dated: 09-06-2022]
For the Petitioners : Mr C.C.T. Sangma, Adv.
For the Respondents : Mr A. Kumar, Advocate-General with Mr S. Sengupta, Addl. Sr. GA Ms R. Colney, GA Mr K. Paul, Sr. Adv. with Ms R. Dutta
Appearance in MC (PIL) No. 3 of 2017:
For the Applicant : In person
For the Respondent : Mr K. Paul, Sr. Adv. with Ms R. Dutta