Lower tier hospitals to be given more staff and facilities

Starting January 1, four wings of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College will have the much-awaited referral status.

Expert treatment will be ensured for patients referred here from lower tier hospitals, which in turn have been promised facilities and staff to function round-the-clock.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, addressing a press conference here on Thursday, said the Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Medicine and Gynaecology wings would be the referral departments from the New Year, as part of the government’s efforts to make all medical colleges in the State referral hospitals. The upgrading of these four departments in the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College would be the first step towards this achievement, he said, adding the rest of the departments in the MCH here would be given referral status in a phased manner.

Accordingly, only patients requiring expert treatment would be referred from primary health centres (PHC), community health centres (CHC), taluk hospitals and district hospitals to the medical college.

The government was also making arrangements for a back-referral system, as part of which patients who required further care after expert treatment from the MCH would be referred back to the hospital or health centre from where they were referred.

The CHCs in the district would be ensured doctors and nurses to function round-the-clock while 24-hour X-Ray, laboratory and ECH facilities would be ensured at the taluk level hospitals.

Doctors from PHCs to taluk hospitals would be imparted special training from December 29 to 31 as part of these changes, the Minister said, adding public relation officials would be recruited to the MCH, SAT Hospital, Thycaud Women and Children Hospital and the taluk hospital here to offer necessary guidance to patients.

Two additional doctors each would be posted at the Chirayinkeezhu and Nedumangadu hospitals apart from two orthopaedicians there.

A referral OP section would be set up along with the existing OP section at the SAT Hospital while a poly trauma morgue geriatric complex would be constructed at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.

The Rs.21.6 crore-project would be launched in January and completed within 18 months, the Minister said, adding a geriatric care training centre would also be added to this complex, which would come up where the existing neurology wing was.

The new casualty wing at the MCH would begin functioning from March next year while the space where the casualty functioned now would have a new mental health care training centre. A multi-disciplinary research laboratory worth Rs.8 crore, a digitalized X-ray system, a central liquid oxygen plant, a power laundry and a central kitchen to cater to nearly 2,000 persons too would be set up at the MCH.

A Rs.3.5 crore-corridor, with financial assistance from the Karunya Benevolent fund with accommodation facilities for attendants of patients at the MCH, and a labour room plus mother intensive care system at the SAT Hospital, too, were part of the sweeping changes in the capital city’s health sector, Mr. Sivakumar said.

Stating that the Thycaud hospital had become the first hospital in the State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH) with effect from Thursday, the Minister also said outstanding hospitals in other districts would be identified and recommended for NABH accreditation.