Laboratory, surgical block, pay wards among facilities envisaged

Steps to upgrade the Fort Community Health Centre into a taluk hospital would be taken immediately, said Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar on his visit to the centre on Tuesday.

He asked the hospital authorities and District Medical Officer D. Pithambaran to formulate a detailed plan on infrastructural renovation, staff pattern, and on increasing the number of specialities for the project.

During his meeting with the hospital administrators, a number of issues were raised, many of which figured under the Corporation’s renovation schemes promised over a year ago.

A single-storey building, supposed to serve as the hospital lab, was meant to be fully functional this year; however it resembled more of a ruin, with broken windows and the roots of a nearby banyan tree threatening the structure. Hospital authorities said plastering of the walls was the only work done here.

“Even primary health centres with much fewer staff and patients have a lab, and in order to avoid delays in treatment, the setting up of one is imperative,” a doctor at the centre said.

Mr. Sivakumar ordered that the work be completed by the end of the month, including the installation of lab equipment and the employment of two lab technicians. The Minister also asked the hospital authorities to submit a list of medical equipment needed, which would be provided by Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd. (KMSCL). An ambulance would also be provided by the KMSCL.

It was decided that a three-storey building, comprising a labour room, surgical block, and medical block, would be established on the campus. Additionally, the Kerala Health Research and Welfare Society would construct a two-storey building with 14 rooms to be used as pay wards.

Complaints regarding the age-old drainage and wiring systems were also voiced, with doctors pointing out that both frequently required repair. With the drains getting clogged often, around Rs.30,000 had been spent over a year for cleaning, said a hospital official. Using the MLA fund, these systems would be replaced, the Minister said.

In response to the issue of the lack of cleaning staff, Mr. Sivakumar directed the DMO to employ two additional staff members for the time being.

The accumulation of waste was also brought up and the hospital authorities said an agreement had been forged with IMAGE to dispose of biomedical waste. To deal with other kinds of garbage, the hospital Superintendent sought a biogas plant.

Provision of hot water and seating facilities also figured on the list of hospital requirements. The Minister inspected the general and maternity wards, the dental and general out-patient sections, and the building where the lab is to be set up after the meeting.