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    Petition against the decision to shift the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre from Patel Para to Rampur, Sundarpur, in Chhattisgarh

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    Date : 27/03/2017

    Nandkishore & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.[WP(PIL) No. 180/2016], Hon’ble High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur

    Synopsis
    Nandkishore & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors demands that the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre should not be shifted from Patel Para to Rampur, Sundarpur. The petitioners are the residents of village that fall within the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre. The petitioners are aggrieved by the respondents decision to shift the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre from Patel Para to Rampur, Sundarpur. The Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre provides basic health facilities to the people of the area. The shifting of the Primary Health Centre is going to cause tremendous hardship to the people of the area. The people of the affected area have constituted the Prathmik Swathya Kendra Fundurdihari Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. The Samiti had filed W.P (PIL) no. 180/2016, the same was withdrawn at liberty to file fresh petition after impleading affected persons as parties. Hence this petition.
    The petitioners pray to issue a writ of mandamus directing the respondents not to close the PHC, Fundurdihari Patel Para till the final decision of the Hon’ble Court in the instant petition.
    Status
    The petitioners are aggrieved by the respondent’s decision to shift the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre from Patel Para to Rampur, Sundarpur. The Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre provides basic health facilities to the people of the area. The shifting of the Primary Health Centre is going to cause tremendous hardship to the people of the area. The people of the affected area have constituted the Prathmik Swathya Kendra Fundurdihari Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. The Samiti had filed W.P (PIL) no. 180/2016, the same was withdrawn at liberty to file fresh petition after impleading affected persons as parties. The petitioners have filed the present petition on their own and riot at the instance of someone else. The litigation cost, including advocate’s fee is being borne by the petitioners. The source of information of facts pleaded in this petition is based on information known to the petitioners, information obtained under the Right to Information Act, and information available in the public domain. The petitioners in this petition have challenged the respondent’s decision to shift the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre from Patel Para to Rampur, Sundarpur. The challenge is based on the ground that the order is arbitrary and in violation of the Indian Public Health Standards Guidelines for the Primary Health Centres issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The respondent’s action violates the right to life of the people of the area. So the W.P (PIL) no. 108/2016 was filed, the same was withdrawn at liberty to file fresh petition after impleading affected persons as parties.
    It was listed for hearing on 27th March 2017 for further hearing as W.P (PIL) 40 of 2017.
    Description
    Background
    The petitioners are the residents of village that fall within the Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre. The Primary Health Centre Fundurdihari has been functioning as PHC since 2007. It was reported in Newspaper that the PHC Fundurdihari was going to be closed and shifted to Rampur. The elected representatives of the Village that come under the PHC Fundurdihari wrote to the collector District Sarguja asking that the PHC should not be shifted. In the representation it was stated that at present 6 sub centres fall within the Fundurdihari PHC- Digma, Gandhinagar, Godhanpur, Fundurdihari, Sakola and Mendrekurda. The total population at that area is about 30,000 and total 18 villages fall within PHC. The Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre provides basic health facilities to the people of these areas, institutional deliveries take place here, about 50-60 OPD patients visit each day. The people of these areas will be adversely affected and deprived of their right to health guaranteed as a part of life under Article 21. The people of the affected areas have constituted the Prathmik Swathya Kendra Fundurdihari Bachao Sangharsh Samiti against the shifting of PHC. This PHC Fundurdihari Bachao Sangharsh Samiti submitted a representation to the Health Minister Chhattisgarh requesting that the PHC should not be shifted from Patel Para to Rampur, Sunderpur, which is 15 Kms away and asked the Health Minister to continue running the PHC Fundurdihari at Patel Para and to sanction new setup for the proposed Health Centre at Rampur, Sunderpur. The Minister in charge of district Sarguja submitted a representation to the Health Minister requesting that the PHC Fundurdihari should not be shifted. But the respondent authorities have not acted on the several representations made. Primary Health Centre Fundurdihari Bachao Sangharsh Samiti submitted a reminder requesting for action on their earlier representation.
    Current Status
    The petitioners respectfully present the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India inter alia on the grounds that the Fundurdihari PHC caters the needs of a population of about thirty thousand people. It is being run in accordance with Indian Public Health Standards Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The Fundurdihari Primary Health Centre provides basic health facilities to the people of the area. The shifting of the Primary Health Centre from Patel Para to Rampur, Sunderpur, which is 15 Kms away is going to cause tremendous hardship to the people of the area. The collector had taken into account the needs of the area and had requested the Director Health services to continue the PHC Fundurdihari as it was and grant sanction for a new setup at the PHC, Sunderpur.
    The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Consumer Education and Research Centre v. Union of India, 1995 SCC (3) 43 had held that Article 21 to include the right to health.
    The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pt. Parmanand Katara v. Union of India & Ors. 1989 SCR (3) 997 held that Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation upon the state to preserve life.
    In Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity v. State of West Bengal 1996 SSC (4) 37, the Supreme court had affirmed that providing adequate medical for the people is an essential part of the Government obligation to safeguard the right to life to every person.
    In Laxmi Mandal v. Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital & Ors. W.P (C) 8853/2008 the Delhi High Court had held that an inalienable component if the right if life is the right to health which would include the right to access government health facilities and receive a minimum standard of care.

    The Respondent No. 1: State of Chhattisgarh through Chief Secretary, Naya Raipur.
    No submission.
    The Respondent No. 2: Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare
    No submission.
    The Respondent No. 3: Director, Directorate of Health Services, Naya Raipur.
    No submission.
    The Respondent No. 4: Collector, Ambikapur, District Surguja submits memorandum to Director Health Services to continue running Primary Health Centre as it was.
    The Respondent No. 5: Chief Medical & Health Officer, Ambikapur District Surguja submits that PHC Fundurdihari is functioning in Gram Panchayat Bhawan. In Navapara, in an old Ayurvedic Hospital Building an urban health centre is functioning. The distance between Urban Health Centre from PHC Fundurdihari is only half kilometre and the district hospital is just 3 kms away. According to the Government Norms, Primary Health Centre should be located within 1 km from the District Hospitals. If PHC Fundurdihari will be shifted to new building, the people will not be devoid of Medical facilities.

    Further Readings:
    Indian Public Health Standards(IPHS) Guidelines for Primary Health Centres revised 2012
    health.bih.nic.in/docs/guidelines/guidelines-community-health-centres.pdf

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