Two floors of super-specialty block nearing completion

Patient care at the Peroorkada district hospital is all set to improve with the completion of a super-specialty block.

The seven-storey block is being constructed by the Public Works Department using Rs.11 crore from the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

“The construction of the ground floor and the first floor is nearing completion. These are likely to be commissioned by December. The block will house a super-specialty surgery unit, 24-hour emergency service, intensive care unit, cardiology unit, neurology department, and dialysis unit. Some of the existing beds in the hospital will be moved once the new building comes up,” district panchayat secretary K. Chandrasekhar told The Hindu.

More beds

Mr. Chandrasekhar said that with the completion of the remaining five floors as part of the second phase work, the bed capacity would go up to 600 from the current inpatient facility of 337 beds.

The administrative control of the hospital was transferred to the district panchayat in 2012. The panchayat had requested the Health Department to expedite the second phase work, he said.

People from areas such as Nedumangad, Vithura, and Palode largely depend on the century-old hospital, though it faces several problems ranging from lack of space and proper healthcare facilities to shortage of staff.

On an average, 1,200 people visit the hospital daily, Mannamoola Rajan, member of the hospital management committee, said.

Outpatient specialties such as gynaecology, ENT, paediatrics, dermatology, respiratory medicine, physical medicine, and ophthalmology were full on any given day, a hospital staff member said.

At times, the hospital rooms are so crowded that people have to stand in the open to get treated in the outpatient units.

Mr. Rajan said patient care would improve, courtesy the second phase work and effort to fill vacancies, but other issues such as dumping of garbage and the stray dog menace remained unaddressed. More than 10 vacancies existed on the non-medical side, he said.

No ICU

The absence of an intensive care unit (ICU) is another issue that confronts the hospital. Often, critically ill patients or newborns who need immediate medical attention are shifted either to Government General Hospital or Government Medical College Hospital for want of an ICU.

There is no ambulance service, and the canteen stopped functioning a few months ago after the Food Safety Department ordered its closure for failing to provide hygienic food. The hospital also lacks a blood bank.

The waste generated from the Peroorkada market, situated close to the hospital, is dumped in areas close to the male ward. A staff member said the piled-up garbage had drawn stray dogs to the premises, spreading fear among patients, their attendants, and the staff. There had been instances of people being chased by the dogs, the staff member added.