It is in a dilapidated condition and lacks basic facilities

The jail ward of the Government Wenlock Hospital here is in a dilapidated condition and is waiting for a face-lift. It is said to be the oldest ward of the hospital, where Mangalore prison inmates are brought for treatment.

Located at a corner of the hospital, the ward has two small cells in which three inmates can be housed. It is in the room opposite the cell that police escorts stay to guard and also take care of the inmates. According to Mangalore District Prison authorities, on an average, five persons are brought to the ward for treatment each day.

Cracks are seen in the ward built in the name of a woman from Thalassery in 1927. Shrubs surround the two cells which lack an atmosphere conducive for medical treatment. “It is better to be in prison than in this ward,” said advocate Dinesh Hegde Ullepady. These cells lack basic facilities for treating prison inmates. “The inmates admitted here are denied a feel of hospital. There is a lack of dedicated staff to treat prison inmates here,” he said.

District Surgeon and Superintendent of Wenlock Hospital P. Saroja told The Hindu that a proposal for reconstruction of the block had been pending for a long time. It was in October that the Executive Committee of the hospital headed by the Deputy Commissioner gave approval for reconstruction. The Karnataka Housing Board had been asked to build the new jail ward. “The existing building will be demolished. The new building will be built as per the plan submitted by the jail authorities,” Dr. Saroja said. The Housing Board was yet to begin the process of floating tenders.

Dr. Saroja said doctors and nurses paid regular visits to the ward for treatment. If the condition of the inmates turned serious, they would be moved to other wards for treatment. “There have been no occasion to deny treatment for lack of beds,” she said and added that measures were being taken to keep the area clean.

The Mangalore prison authorities said the new prison ward would have room for more beds. It would also have an intensive care unit and a guard room. “The new ward will have the same look as that of a prison,” said K. Doddakamaiah, Superintendent of the Mangalore District Prison.

More In: Mangalore