Delhi Health Minister criticizes Health Secretary’s absence

| Updated: 20 June, 2024 11:39 am IST
Saurabh Bhardwaj presents the complaint letter in a Press Release

NEW DELHI: Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj has submitted a complaint letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding the extended absence of Secretary (Health) S.B. Deepak Kumar, who reportedly took leave without obtaining necessary permissions. In the letter addressed to the Ministry, Bharadwaj criticized the lack of response and action from central authorities on the matter.

Complaint Letter
Complaint Letter

Highlighting the urgency of the situation amidst an unprecedented heat wave in Delhi, Bharadwaj expressed concern that Kumar had gone on leave until July 13th without the Minister’s authorization. “Instead of making arrangements for managing the heat wave, the head of the health department has taken leave without the Minister’s permission,” Bharadwaj stated.

Earlier, the Minister had sent the letter while Kumar was not responding to any of his calls or messages, particularly after learning about a fire accident at a nursing home in East Delhi on May 24th, which tragically resulted in several children’s deaths.

Bharadwaj expressed disbelief at the situation, describing it as unimaginable for a senior official to take such lengthy leave without proper authorization. “In my previous communication, I requested the MHA to take disciplinary action against Kumar, but I have not received any response regarding this action,” Bharadwaj noted.

ALSO READ: Union Health Ministry releases advisory for continued heatwaves in country – THE NEW INDIAN

In the letter, the Health Minister posed several pressing questions to the MHA and the Central Government, which oversees officers of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Bharadwaj queried, “How can the Secretary (Health) of a state go on such extended leave without the Health Minister’s permission? How can the Health Secretary take leave when Delhi is facing an unprecedented heat wave?”

Bharadwaj also sought clarification on who authorized the Health Secretary’s leave and what actions have been taken against him. “Who permitted such a long leave for the Health Secretary? What steps have been taken against him?” he asked.

The Minister emphasized the potential impact on the functioning of the Health Department, stressing the critical nature of the situation. “How will a critical Department like Health operate when its head goes on extended leave and does not respond to calls or messages?” Bharadwaj questioned.

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