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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Bombay HC rebukes Maharashtra govt over unspent healthcare budget

Bombay HC rebukes Maharashtra govt over unspent healthcare budget

Updated on: 08 December,2023 02:43 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Bombay HC rebuked Maharashtra government for not utilising the entire healthcare budget affecting healthcare system. The court questioned govt's failure to use allocated funds for medicines and medical equipment.

Bombay HC rebukes Maharashtra govt over unspent healthcare budget

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

The Bombay High Court chastised the Maharashtra government for failing to spend the entire healthcare budget, which is harming the healthcare system, stated a PTI report.

Reportedly,  the division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor questioned the government's failure to use allocated funds to purchase medicines and medical equipment, thereby allowing the money to go to waste.

Concerns were raised in court about several deaths in government hospitals in the Nanded and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar districts, prompting several petitions. The Advocate General, Birendra Saraf, informed the court that the Maharashtra Medicines Procurement Authority had appointed a chief executive officer. Furthermore, previous orders have started the procurement of drugs and equipment.

The court expressed concern about the trend of allocated funds not being fully released, and even the released amount remaining unutilized. According to the court's observations, this lapse in budget utilisation has a direct impact on the healthcare system.

"What we notice is that the budget allocated and sanctioned is not released entirely, and whatever amount is released is not spent. What is the reason behind this?" CJ Upadhyaya asked.

"This seems to be a new trend with the government. But who is the ultimate sufferer? We hope and trust that steps would be taken to spend the budget in its entirety otherwise it lapses at the cost of the healthcare system," the court said.

The government has been ordered to submit an affidavit detailing the reasons for the lapse and how they intend to address hospital demands across the state by February 1, 2024.

Furthermore, the court urged the government to speed up the recruitment process to fill hospital vacancies, noting that one-third of hospital positions in the state are currently unfilled, the report added.

Saraf, according to the PTI report, told the court that the government is attempting to address the court's concerns and assured that most vacant positions in hospitals will be filled by December; however, he said appointments for certain designations may take a little longer. Despite assurances from the government, the court emphasised the importance of expediting the recruitment process to address the hospital staff shortage.

"One-third of posts are still lying vacant in hospitals across the state. There is an urgent need to fill up all vacancies. We are of the opinion that the recruitment process has to be expedited," the court was quoted as saying in the PTI report. 


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