A modern dietary kitchen that doles out food for patients and a makeover in the hospital work schedule have won the district general hospital the latest award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The award is given for the best innovative practice in healthcare in public sector.

“The jury was most impressed with presentations on these two aspects,” said district medical officer Junaid Rahman, the previous superintendent of the general hospital and man who made the presentation before the jury. “They asked questions on these two significant aspects, which has probably won the hospital the award,” said Dr. Rahman.

Former Chief Justice of India R.C. Lakotia, former chairman of Securities Exchange Board of India M. Damodaran and professor of IIM Ahmedabad K.V. Ramani were the jury members.

The hospital, the biggest hospital in the state health services with 783 beds, got serious about the need for a change when it applied for the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH)certification. And it was a two-year-long struggle, said Mr Rahman. The initiative of the State government and the support from the National Rural Health Mission were prominent, said Dr. Rahman. The State government team headed by former Minister for Health P. K. Sreemathy, then Health Secretary Vishwas Mehta and former State head of NRHM Dinesh made the initial moves for NABH accreditation.

Nobody in the hospital could at first believe that such a change would actually come over, said Dr. Rahman. But now the staff at the hospital feels motivated about the glory.

Now, the case sheets of patients have moved from being a bunch of papers to a more organised file system. And this required a change in attitude of the staff, said Dr. Rahman. The NRHM provided Rs. 2 crore for builing a new block and also funded the computerisation and equipment caliberation. The funds of MPs and MLAs helped bring in infrastructure and equipment to the hospital. The Pollution Control Board provided Rs. 1 crore to set up the Sewage Treatment Plant and organisations like Rotary and Lions chipped in to renovate wards to improve bed spacing as suggested by NABH.

The dietary kitchen that rolls out free food for patients at a cost of Rs. 20,000 a day runs on donations. It prepares food in semi-automated kitchen as prescribed by dieticians are served at the patient’s bedside.

Many other public sector organisations like BPCL-KRL, Cochin Shipyard and GAIL contributed to the development of the government hospital. The State also provided Rs.2 crore as asset maintenance fund to the hospital.

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