“The operator did not seem to know how to operate the lift”

Health Minister V.S. Vijay and a group of doctors were trapped for a few minutes in a lift at one of the new buildings in Government Royapettah Hospital on Tuesday.

The Minister had come to inaugurate the Chief Minister's health insurance scheme ward at the building on Tuesday.

Hospital authorities and the Public Works Department officials heaved a sigh of relief after the Minister and the group were brought out after a few minutes of struggle.

After the incident, the Minister held a meeting with doctors and officials of the Public Works Department and asked them to speed up the work on the hospital premises. He stressed the need for keeping a complaint and feedback book in the new wards. Patients can register complaints during their stay at the hospital on the complaint book. At the time of their discharge, the feedback would be obtained in a separate book.

“The [lift] operator did not seem to know how to operate the lift,” Dr.Vijay said about the incident. Officials of the Public Works Department said the incident occurred on account of overcrowding and the lift was now in working condition.

The PWD officials had examined the lift on Monday. The Chief Electrical Inspector to Government had certified the lift a few months ago. The certification is valid from August 4, 2011 to August 3, 2012.

The Chief Minister's insurance ward with 54 beds inaugurated on Tuesday is on the first floor of the five-storeyed surgical block constructed by the PWD. The structure has a total built up area of 65,902 sq ft of which 9,011 sq ft has been earmarked for the insurance ward.

Each of the patients at insurance ward would have buzzer and locker facilities. A liaison officer would be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days at the insurance ward.

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