The Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court, on Friday, came down heavily on the Union Health Ministry for supplying faulty ventilators to Marathwada hospitals issued under PM CARES fund and for defending the actions.
The Health Ministry defended its actions in its affidavit, saying that the doctors and paramedics are not properly trained to handle the ventilators issued under the Central government scheme.
The bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and BU Debadwar while hearing the suo moto matter of faulty ventilators supplied to Government Medical College Hospital, Aurangabad, asked the Health Ministry to show some sensitivity towards patients and avoid the blame game.
The central government on the other hand submitted its affidavit in the Bombay High Court saying that the 150 ventilators were never supplied through the PM CARES Fund but under Make In India scheme.
The Assistant Solicitor General of India, Ajay Talhar, also contended for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that the ventilators provided are sophisticated modern equipment tested on world-class parameters. The government affidavit also contended that the fault lay with the staff of GMCH and not the manufacturers of the ventilators and that it found no merit in the report of the Dean of the GMCH on the fault ventilators.
The ASG asked for the case to be disposed of as the machines are showing an operating status of 'OK'.
The Amicus Curiae for the case observed that even today, not a single ventilator supplied to the hospital was functional.
The court slammed the government for defending the manufacturer while shifting the blame on the hospital and its staff. The bench of the Bombay High Court asked the MoHFW to stop questioning the reports of medical experts and instead to start working on fixing the ventilators.
The bench said, "ASGI has addressed us as if he is holding the brief for the Manufacturer." The ventilators were manufactured in Rajkot by Jyoti CNC automation limited.
The bench of the High Court said that it was the duty of the manufacturer to ensure that the ventilators are properly functioning or to replace them especially since they are under warranty and fully paid for.
The matter will be taken up again on June 2 with the High Court hearing what the Central government has done to remedy the issue.