More staff to ensure hygiene, says Health Minister

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar has said that the State government is planning expansion and modernisation projects at SAT Hospital to upgrade infrastructure at the referral mother and child hospital inside the Government Medical College Hospital here.

He was speaking to mediapersons after inspecting facilities at the hospital.

Mr. Sivakumar said that apart from the ongoing work in the new hospital block, renovation would be taken up in the old block.

“We are planning to bring the casualty block of the hospital from the rear to the front where a new casualty block will be constructed at a cost of Rs.1 crore. Two new lifts are planned at either end of the old building. We will also start ambulance service for the hospital using National Rural Health Mission funds,” he said.

The modernisation proposals would be implemented in a year, he said.

The new block, which would be converted into a super-specialty wing, would include newborn and paediatric intensive care units, infertility clinic, and paediatric cardiology and neurology wings. Soon after the completion of the civil work, hospital equipment for Rs.1.5 crore would be procured for the new block, Mr. Sivakumar said.

Revival of the Hospital Development Society and deployment of additional cleaning staff to ensure hygiene and sanitation were the other initiatives to be taken up soon. All steps would be taken to ensure a clean hospital environment, he said.

On reports in some sections of the media regarding hospital-acquired infection affecting newborns at SAT Hospital, Mr. Sivakumar said the allegations were baseless. “Hundreds of patients come to this hospital for treatment every day. Patients who come here from other hospitals could be carrying infections. But thanks to the dedicated efforts of doctors and staff of SAT, there have not been any major issues,” he said.

Of the 3.92 lakh patients who came to the hospital for treatment in 2011, 627 died here.

“This mortality figure is not just that of babies. This refers to the total number of deaths, including that of women and children who suffered from chronic diseases such as cancer,” said hospital superintendent K.E. Elizabeth.