New Delhi: Expressing serious concerns about the deplorable public health infrastructure in the country, the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), India has Thursday taken suo motu cognizance of series of media reports about loss of precious human lives in various parts of the country in recent times due to deficiencies and inadequacies in the healthcare system.

          The Commission has observed that large number of deaths of the innocent people including women, children and elderly persons are taking place  due to lack of proper medical care, infrastructure, manpower and due to administrative failure, across the country. Apart from the death of 143 children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), the Commission has recounted the loss of lives in Gorakhpur due to Japanese Encephalitis, death of newly born infants and other patients due to failure of oxygen supply, carrying of dead bodies by family members on their shoulders because of non-availability of ambulances, incidents of delivery of babies in front of the hospitals due to negligence and non-availability of doctors etc.

NHRC appointed teams comprising of doctors will soon visit health centres in vulnerable states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to conduct on-the-spot fact finding investigation.

The NHRC has issued notices to union health secretary seeking a comprehensive report within four weeks on the observation made by the Commission. It has also asked chief secretaries of all the states and UTs to submit their reports within six weeks giving the details of the incidents relating to deaths due to lack of health and medical care facilities that have taken place during the last three years and steps taken by them to prevent their recurrence along with efforts made by providing relief and rehabilitation to the aggrieved.