HC Seeks Status Of SCB-Sishu Bhawan Merger Plan From Odisha Govt

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has sought a status report from the state government on its decade-old plan for the merger of SCB Medical College and Hospital’s (SCBMCH) paediatric ward with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatric Studies, known as Sishu Bhawan.

The High Court directed the state government to file an affidavit on the present status of the merger while considering the PILs seeking intervention against the decision to shift the paediatric unit of SCBMCH to Sishu Bhawan in 2012.

The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Chittaranjan Dash issued direction on Monday after noticing that the court had issued a stay order on the merger on July 18, 2012, and no substantive proceedings had taken place since then.

The HC had taken up for hearing a petition filed by lawyer Kanhayalal Sharma, an intervention petition filed by postgraduate students of SCBMCH and another PIL by the SCBMCH Students’ Union. Sharma appeared in person and contended that the facilities available at Sishu Bhawan are inadequate.

The bench directed Sharma to visit both SCBMCH and Sishu Bhawan and file an affidavit by December 6, the next date fixed for the matter.

The petitions contended that the merger move was not only against the interest of public but also affect the interest of students. It would be detrimental to the life and health of the children visiting the hospital for treatment.

The decision, they said, will hamper the studies of the medical students who will have to travel eight km for their clinical classes, ward duty, semester and annual examination.

The state government maintained that Sishu Bhawan is the paediatric unit of SCBMCH and situated within the Medical Council of India (MCI) approved distance of 10 km. For administrative and academic convenience and to avoid duplicity of efforts it has been decided to provide paediatric care only at Sishu Bhawan, it contended.

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