Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra Government to create a website on malnutrition and questioned why it had not framed a policy to ensure that doctors took up posting in tribal areas including Melghat which is flooded with such cases among children.
A bench of Justices S J Vajifdar and Gautam Patel asked the State to implement its earlier order of September 5 in which the Principal Secretary had been directed to frame a policy by October 31 to ensure that vacancies at the district hospitals and rural health centres were filled up.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Purnima Upadhyay, seeking effective implementation of the state and Central schemes to fight malnourishment in the Melghat area of Maharashtra.
The Judges asked the government to create a website and upload data on cases of malnutrition and various schemes being implemented to tackle this menace. By doing this, the issue of malnutrition would be brought under public domain, the bench said.
Hearing the same PIL, another bench had remarked earlier that there seemed to be some "glamour" attached to the postings in cities and therefore the doctors were avoiding to work in tribal areas. Hence, the State should come out with a policy to ensure that doctors take up posting in rural areas.
The court was informed that 105 posts of MBBS doctors and 71 posts of specialists were vacant in 11 tribal districts of the state. The government pleader said that doctors were generally not willing to take up the posting at district hospitals and rural health centres.
Pointing out that there was a craze among doctors to serve in metropolitan areas, the court had suggested on last occasion that public health department should evolve a policy to make sure that doctors were made available by rotation in sensitive areas where there was a need for more care.
"The needs of the community are not borne in mind. Influence is exercised in the corridors of power to retain plum postings," the court had said.