Bench orders notice to Health Secretary, DME and Madurai Collector

G. Muthulakshmi alias Rajam, 50, who reportedly suffered rat bite at Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here on January 23 has approached the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to the State government to pay her a compensation of Rs.2 lakh.

Justice B. Rajendran admitted her writ petition on Wednesday and ordered notice to the Health Secretary, Director of Medical Education, Madurai Collector, Corporation Commissioner, Public Works Department Executive Engineer, Joint Director of Public Health and the Dean of the hospital.

In her petition, the woman, hailing from Kottaiyur in Sivaganga district, said her son, who sustained injuries in a road accident, got admitted to ward number 101 of the GRH on January 19. Ms.Muthulakshmi and her husband were taking care of him at the hospital.

The hospital was poorly maintained and it was very common to see rats entering the ward through drainage pipelines. The rodents used to roam around the ward during daytime and at night, and feed on the fruits and other eatables meant for patients, she claimed.

“On January 23, I was sleeping near the cot of my son. At that time, a rat bit me near my left elbow. I writhed in pain and suffered swelling all over my body,” she said. She also produced evidence of having undergone treatment for rat bite at the same hospital as an outpatient.

Ms.Muthulakshmi said she had to suffer rat bite due to the failure of the sanitary workers and their supervisors to keep the hospital free from rodent menace and other such ills. According to her, 122 male and 149 female sanitary workers were deputed in the GRH.

Apart from them, Madurai Corporation had also allotted two health inspectors to supervise the work of a team of 63 sanitary workers in the hospital. Yet, the menace could not be eradicated leading to complaints by several patients and their attendants, she added.

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