Delhi government writes to Centre seeking action against health department secretary, ET HealthWorld

Delhi government writes to Centre seeking action against health department secretary, ET HealthWorld


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New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Wednesday wrote to the Union Home Secretary claiming that Delhi government's Health Secretary SB Deepak Kumar has gone on a “long leave” without his permission amid scorching heat and sought strict action against him. However, health department sources said Kumar was on a two-day leave (June 13-14) and then went to attend a mid-career training programme in Mussoorie from June 18 to July 13.

He claimed that an official mail from the Delhi Health Secretary's office was sent to the Health Minister's office on June 12 in this regard.

Bhardwaj said in his letter, “Delhi is experiencing severe heat and the temperature is breaking all records. The role of the health department is most important in making arrangements for the people affected by heat-related diseases.”

The minister said he was surprised to learn that Health Secretary Kumar had gone on “long leave” till July 13 without his permission.

Asked who granted leave to the official, Bhardwaj said, “There are many questions which need to be answered by the Home Ministry, Central government, which is controlling all the officials of the Delhi government, including Health Secretary SB Deepak Kumar.”

Citing the unprecedented heat in Delhi, he asked how can a state Secretary (Health) go on such a long leave without the permission of the Health Minister.

He further questioned in his letter, “How will an important department like health function when the head of the department goes on a long leave and does not respond to any calls or messages?”

Bhardwaj demanded that the central government should take strict action against officials like Kumar.

He also referred to his earlier letter to the Union Home Secretary regarding the fire incident at a neonatal health centre in May this year in which seven newborn babies had died.

The Health Minister also questioned what action the Centre took against Kumar in connection with the fire incident.

Bhardwaj had complained in his previous letter that he came to know about the fire incident through the media, as the Health Secretary did not care to inform him about it.

He also alleged that Kumar did not respond to any of his messages or calls and that a note sent to his residence was also not received.

“I had given several instructions to the secretary (health), including the need to ensure fire audit of all private nursing homes and hospitals by June 8. There were also several other instructions related to the said incident,” he said.

The minister claimed that since then the Secretary (Health) never bothered to update the status of the instructions given by him.

  • Published on June 20, 2024, 10:02 AM IST

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