Tuesday’s access audit of the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital by the State Disabilities Commissioner found the key government hospital here wanting on many counts.
Apart from a ramp and railing at the entrance, the hospital campus had none of the other accessibility measures; Commissioner for Disabilities K.S. Rajanna’s checklist remained largely unticked. There were no parking spots for persons with disabilities; side railings, grab bars in lift, tactile flooring and doorways that were wide enough were missing. Hospital authorities also confessed that there were no toilets for disabled people.
Mr. Rajanna has given authorities 30 days to comply with basic access requirements. He said: “We have examined every department and given the hospital authorities a checklist with 30 days notification to ensure that the changes are implemented.”
M. Manjunath, a 47-year-old patient with physical disabilities from Chitradurga, who had come for treatment for diabetes, met Mr. Rajanna. He told the commissioner that the hospital was not very disabled-friendly.
He also told the official that his right leg, which was amputated 10 years ago, had developed gangrene. “I need surgery and do not have the money for my constant medical needs.” Mr. Rajanna promised him a motorised tricycle to help him get around.
After the inspection, Mr. Rajanna told presspersons that it was unfortunate that such an important government hospital did not have the required amenities to cater to those with disabilities. “This will prevent the differently-abled from claiming the free healthcare services that is their due. Which is why we have started these audits.”